An investigation was opened after the report by the National Commission of Campaign Accounts of possible exceeding donation ceilings during the campaign of the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi during the municipal 2020, we learned this Wednesday from the prosecutor's office.
The investigation, whose existence was revealed by the newspaper Nice-Matin, was entrusted to the judicial police. The report of the National Commission on Campaign Accounts and Political Financing (CNCCFP) dates back to the beginning of the year and relates to the amounts paid by candidates on the list to finance the campaign.
€10,000 funded by deputies, €6,000 for municipal councillors
Half a dozen running mates of Christian Estrosi (Horizons) are concerned by these possible ceiling overruns, which are concentrated around payments to two separate political structures, Les Amis du Maire and Le Rassemblement.
Philippe Pradal, MP Horizons, not himself concerned by these possible irregularities, was heard by the investigators of the judicial police as a chartered accountant of the two political structures concerned.
To appear on Christian Estrosi's list during this campaign, the candidates participated in its financing to the tune of 10,000 euros for deputies and 6,000 euros for municipal councillors, a common practice in political parties, according to a municipal source.
Legal ceiling of €7,500
In the mayor's entourage, where it is specified that the accounts of the municipal campaign itself have been validated, it is explained that the sums were paid in the form of donations to one of the two parties, donations that must respect a legal ceiling of 7,500 euros, and in the form of contributions to the second political structure.
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According to this source, the Campaign Accounts Committee did not distinguish between donations and contributions. However, while holders of an elected office are required to respect the ceiling of 7,500 euros for donations they make to a party, their contributions are not limited.
The investigation will have to determine whether irregularities have actually been committed and whether the donation limits have been exceeded.