Argentina's top presidential candidates could spend up to $10 million pesos (US$240,000) per day in the October elections, according to a ruling by the country's Electoral Court on Friday.
Spending limits increase exponentially as candidates progress through the rounds of voting. The most any candidate could spend per day is $10 million pesos, which applies to the two candidates who reach a run-off vote in the event no clear winner emerges in the first round.
Candidates and their alliances will have access to a $18-million-peso (US$430,000) public spending limit for the entirety of the PASO primaries race in August. This year's primaries are particularly controversial given that all major political alliances have decided on their final candidates and therefore have no need to participate in a primaries contest.
Coalitions will then receive over 45 million pesos (US$1 million) each for the general and presidential elections in October.
The Electoral Court's calculations are determined on a fixed value per eligible voter and must be spent on the printing of ballots for distribution at households and at polling stations on election day.
But that's not all. Candidates will be granted $681 millones (US$16.2 million) to be split between the eight men and one woman contesting the presidency: Mauricio Macri, Alberto Fernández, Roberto Lavagna, Nicolás del Caño, José Luis Espert, Juan José Gómez Centurión, Manuela Castañeira, José Romero Feris and Alejandro Biondini.
Half of that will be divided in equal parts and the other half according to each ballot’s performance in the previous election.
PRIVATE SPENDING KITTY
Unsurprisingly, individual donations will account for the majority of candidates' spending kitty.
Coalitions are allowed to spend a total $226 million (US$5.38 million) in the PASOs and 453 (US$10.78 million) in the general elections, according to the Electoral Court.
Travel, political rallies, street advertising and the production of campaign ads for television (there is no cost of emission according to Argentine law), are among the main areas of spending in a traditional election campaign. Social media and mobile chat apps will also be a major focus for the candidates in 2019.
Once the election is over, parties must lodge their receipts with the Electoral Court.