At the height of summer, the approximately 3,000 campaign invoices for the April 2022 presidential election were analyzed by experts from the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Funding (CNCCFP). At the start of the school year, they sent questionnaires to the candidate teams, asking for supporting documents and sworn statements. Without a satisfactory response, the disputed expenses risked being deducted from the reimbursement granted by the State.
Friday, January 27, the verdict fell. The CNCCFP approves all of the campaign accounts, subject to a few “reforms” – these alterations made to the expenditure or income declared by the candidates, in application of the electoral code. Excellent news for the former contenders for the Elysée, who will thus be able to be reimbursed by the State for part of their expenses.
Published at Official newspaper, these decisions reveal behind the scenes of the campaigns of the candidates for the presidency of the Republic – with the exception of that of Marine Le Pen. The candidate of the National Rally (RN) challenges before the Constitutional Council the reforms proposed by the CNCCFP, in fact suspending the publication of the decision concerning her.
A crucial threshold
The candidate with the highest spending was the outgoing president, Emmanuel Macron, with 16.69 million euros declared – far from the ceiling of 22.509 million euros set for the presidential finalists. But spending is not enough to win votes. Valérie Pécresse, candidate for the Les Républicains party, who won 4.78% of the vote, had the second largest budget for this election, with 14.32 million euros.
Jean Lassalle, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la France), Philippe Poutou (New Anti-Capitalist Party) and Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) have adapted their campaign expenses to the flat-rate reimbursement from the State intended for candidates who have collected less than 5% of the votes in the first round of the election – ie 800,423 euros. A crucial threshold for candidates, who can obtain a reimbursement ten times greater if they manage to exceed it – up to 8,004,225 euros for those eliminated at the end of the first round, and up to 10,691,775 euros for those present in the second round.
Yannick Jadot (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party), confident at the start of the campaign in the idea of overcoming the 5% threshold, spent more – declaring respectively 5,162,965 euros and 3,744,225 euros of expenditure. Feeling the dynamics of the campaign turning to their disadvantage, both ordered a “hesitant barometer” from the IFOP for 6,600 euros in order to succeed in mobilizing the electorate which would take them past the 5% mark. An expense rejected for half by the CNCCFP. According to the commission, this document “similar to a notoriety survey”, even though he also “used for the orientation of the campaign”, what can “justify partial consideration of its cost”. Valérie Pécresse, who also ordered this barometer, will not benefit from her reimbursement, for lack of being able to justify her “impact on [sa] countryside “.
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