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31.01.2023, . 23:34

Comparative Overview of Financial Deposits Systems for Political Candidates

Summary of Deposits Systems: Common Features

Time and Amount of Deposit

Of those countries examined, all of those charging a financial deposit (sometimes called a «filing fee,» etc.) require the candidate or his/her representative to pay the deposit by noon of the last day on which nominations may be taken. Though in some cases the nomination process may begin before payment, the nomination is not officially completed and the candidate's name is not added to the ballot until payment of the deposit. The principle difference between systems is in the ammount of the candidate's deposit - most European and American systems require fairly low deposits, no more than a few thousand dollars US; some Asian countries require a great deal more - tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, some systems require that political parties, not candidates, make the deposit for their entire party list rather than for candidates individually. Typically deposits for higher level offices are greater than for lower level offices (for example, presidential candidates pay more than parliamentary candidates, who pay more than candidates for regional legislatures).

Method of Payment

In all cases in which the method of payment is specified it is acceptable to pay by cash, bank draft, or certified cheque. About two-thirds of the electoral laws examined made specific mention of the method of payment.

Procedure/or Making the Deposit

Most countries that require financial deposits specify that the deposit be made with the designated electoral officer of the relevant electoral commission. The electoral officer then issues a receipt and forwards the cheque to the country's chief electoral officer (or, if cash is used for the deposit, the returning officer deposits (he cash in his/her official bank account and writes a cheque to the chief electoral officer), who in turn turns over the deposit to the country's national treasury. Most laws state or imply that deposits are to remain in possession of the federal treasury until conditions for return arc met or the deposit is forfeited (see below). However, none of the laws contain specific provisions for the mechanism by which deposits are placed in bank accounts. None of the laws examined contain provisions for interest on deposits. If the candidate does not meet the conditions for return and the deposit is forfeited, all the laws examined assert that the deposit becomes property of the state, and most laws state specifically that the deposits become property of the federal or national bank.

Conditions for the Return of Deposits

Conditions for return of deposits vary by country but usually involve a set of several conditions, any of which may be met for full return of the deposit. The range of conditions often include requirements that the candidate either:

- wins the election;
- does not win the election, but receive a minimum percentage of the popular vote (usually between 5-15%.);
- withdraw his/her candidature by a certain deadline;
- fulfills all other requirements, such as campaign finance disclosure;
- or dies before the day of the election.

The main differences between systems are in how strict the conditions for return are, and the threshold percentage of votes sometimes required for return. Some countries have instituted further requirements designed to foster certain practices among candidates. Canada, for example, mandates completion of all financial disclosure requirements as a condition of full return. It is unusual that a system does not contain provisions for the return of deposits (for example, conditions for return are unspecified in Japan). Most laws state that if all conditions are met deposits should be returned within 30 days after the election,

Financial Deposits Systems



Amount of Deposit

Conditions for Return


Attach. #



Federal Legislature
Regional Legislature

10,000 F
200 F

For all offices:
- win election
- receive at least 5% of vote
- withdraw candidacy

Code Electoral 1991



Dail (parliament)


- withdraw candidacy
- win election
- die before election
- all other nomination requirements not met by nomination deadline
- receive at least 25% of vote quota at any stage of ballot counting

Electoral Act 1992



For registration offarltes:
Lower House of Parliament
Provincial Council
Municipal Council

1,000 guilders
500 guilders*
250 guilders*

*(if party not already registered for higher offices)

Deposit is returned in all cases if party's request for registration is granted by the Central Electoral Committee and the party Subsequently presents a valid list of candidates

Franchise Act, 1989


United Kingdom



- win election
- receive at least 5% of vote

Representation of the People Act





House of Representatives
Regional Legislature (Queensland)


For all offices:
- win the election
- receive at least 4% of first preference votes
- dies before election
Queensland only:

- officially withdraw nomination before end of nomination period

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918
Queensland Electoral Act 1992



House of Representatives
House of Councillors

Diet (elected by



Election System in Japan


New Zealand

«Every constituency candidate»


- receive at least 5% of votes

Electoral Act




3 times the amount deposited by parliamentary candidates (exact amount not available)

- withdraw candidacy
- die before election
- win election
- receive at least 12.5% of vote

Republic of Singapore, Government Gazette, Acts Supplement, August 19, 1991


South Korea



300 million Won
10 million Won

For all offices:
- wins election
- dies before election

The Constitution and Current Public Election Related Act of the Republic of Korea

Not Available





First half returned if:
- wins election
- receives at least 15% of votes in district
- withdraws candidature
- dies before election
Second hat/returned if;

- all financial disclosure
- requirements are met

Canada Elections Act,





- wins election
- receives at least 12.5% of vote
- dies before election
- withdraws «upon circumstances over which the candidate had no control...»

Representation of the People Act,


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