The president of Colombia’s National Electoral Commission, Marco Hincapie, announced Wednesday that the commission will fine, or ban from running, any candidates who are found to have been financed by foreign countries.
Hincapie said that parties, movements or candidates found guilty of receiving foreign funding, would face penalties ranging from losing the money invested to losing their permit to stand in the elections. He added that guilty parties would also forfeit any funding from the Colombian state.
The commission head referred to article 109 of the Colombian constitution, which prohibits presidential or congressional candidates from being financed by “foreign resources.”
Hincapie said that the law is not new, and that it is very clear that foreign governments and investors are not permitted to fund Colombian election campaigns.
The Electoral Commission’s announcement follows Wednesday’s claim by President Alvaro Uribe that he has a evidence showing that a “foreign government” has planted a candidate in Colombia in order to “strain conditions” during the upcoming elections.
Security agency DAS announced Wednesday that it will open investigations into the foreign financing of Colombian congressional and presidential candidates’ election campaigns.