Corruption watchdog discovers illegal party donations made in 2016

Two parties in 2016 received €33,223 in illegal donations, including €17,883 received by the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) said May 8.

KNAB has completed revision of financial reports of political parties for 2016.

KNAB chief has made a decision that two political parties have to repay illegal donations into the state budget for the total sum of €33,223.

The little-known Action Party has to repay €15,340 into the state budget, and ZZS has to repay €17,883. ZZS has already repaid the required sum.

Inspecting donations lists for 407 political parties, KNAB found a number of violations of procedure. In 15 cases, administrative procedures were launched and the parties were fined with a total sum of €150. In another ten cases administrative procedures were not launched because the breaches were considered minor.

KNAB noted that in 2016 six political parties were entitled to public financing worth a total of €576,980 – the Latvian Regional Alliance, the National Alliance, For Latvia From The Heart, Unity, Harmony and the Greens and Farmers Union.

After the 2014 Saeima elections, Unity was fined for illegal donations worth €57,142, and exceeding its allowed pre-election expenditure by €41,779. Thus, KNAB ruled to suspend public funding for Unity in the time period from October 15, 2016 until October 15, 2018. Thus, in 2016 Unity did not receive public funding worth €35,417.

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