Approximately EGP 20bn was spent on electoral campaigns ahead of the 2015 parliamentary elections, reported the Arab Union for Combating Economic Crimes and Money Laundering.
The figure was obtained with the assistance of regulatory bodies and economic experts.
The report, issued by the Arab Union on Sunday, details the maximum amounts that should be spent on electoral campaigns, depending on whether it is intended for an individual seat or a party list.
According to law 45/2014, the maximum amount set for campaign funding for individual seats is EGP 500,000, whereas an amount of EGP 2.5m is set for party lists composed of 15 seats, and triple that amount for lists with 45 seats.
Therefore, given that the total number of candidates is 5,420 running for individual seats, the total amount that should be spent for individual seats in both the first and second rounds is EGP 2.7bn, according to the report.
The report mentioned that the figures are approximate because candidates usually manipulate the actual figures spent on campaigns.
Spending is commonly distributed between ATL (Above the Line) advertising including TV and radio ads and billboards, and BTL (Below the Line) advertising including the use of social media, newspapers and magazines.
Other forms of campaigning include holding conferences, gifting voters, providing medical and other services, and outright vote-buying.
The increased spending was apparent in a few uncommon incidents that included a candidate renting a helicopter that circulated the airspace above the electoral district, as it dropped gifts to the residents. Meanwhile, another candidate brought a caged lion that accompanied him during his tour, amid tight security presence.
Headed by Belal Al-Nems, and former assistant to the Interior Minster Major General Ismail Ezz El-Din, the Arab Union for Combating Economic Crimes and Money Laundering was established in October 2014, comprising members from different Arab states.