PARIS (AFP) – Socialist Francois Hollande spent nearly 21.8 million euros ($26.8 million) on his campaign to become French president, the most of any candidate but only slightly more than Nicolas Sarkozy, official figures showed Tuesday.
Hollande defeated incumbent right-winger Sarkozy in a two-round presidential election on April 22 and May 6.
According to figures published in France’s official gazette, Hollande spent 21,769,895 euros on his campaign, followed by Sarkozy with 21,339,664 euros.
Under French campaign financing laws both former candidates are due to have some of the spending, up to a maximum of 18.69 million euros, reimbursed by the state.
French law limits spending on presidential campaigns to 39.4 million euros per candidate, with 47.5 percent of the amount reimbursable for candidates who take more than five percent of the vote.
The candidate who spent the lowest amount in the campaign was Jacques Cheminade — a fringe eccentric connected with notorious US conspiracy theorist Lyndon Larouche — who spent 498,674 euros and took 0.25 percent of the vote.