The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it needs US$15.3 million to conduct the 2014 Special Senatorial Election.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya said the amount will enable the Commission to conduct free, fair and transparent election comes 2014.
"Let me underscore that this process will be relevant only when the electoral process gets fully underway, and is contingent upon the availability of the much needed funds."
He made the disclosure in Kakata, Margibi County on Thursday at the start of a two-day workshop on 'Raising' awareness amongst political parties on the voters' roll update process' as part of the preparation for the conduct of the 2014 Senatorial Election.
The NEC board of commissioners set a technical working committee comprised of technicians from civil society, including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), UNDP to consider a suitable alternative between conducting a new voter registration exercise, and updating the current voters' roll.
"Following several weeks of discussion, the commission submitted a report to the board of commissioners, recommending an update of the current voters' roll as the better cost effective alternative between the two.
They reasoned that the combined cost of updating the voters' roll and the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election would amount to US$15.3 million as opposed to conducting a fresh registration exercise which costs a staggering US$21 million", Chairman Korkoyah said.
The NEC Chairman, who has a doctorate degree in law, added that Board of Commissioners endorsed the technical committee's recommendation to update the current voters' roll.
"Those that are to benefit include; Liberians who have attained the voting age of 18 years and above; Liberians who, for one reason or the other, could not register during the last registration exercise of 2011; and Liberians who have changed locations within the country", he said. Already, the NEC has submitted the budget for the Special Senatorial Election to the government.
Korkoyah noted that the tedious budget process in the Liberian Legislature is affecting the implementation of some of the planned pre-electoral activities which have already fallen behind schedule in excess of two months.
He maintained that the disbursement of allocated funds to the Commission may be further delay for another month, given the slow pace of the ongoing budget approval process.
According to him, it has become extremely important for all stakeholders, particularly political parties and civil society organizations to engage authorities with constitutional obligations to expedite the budget approval process in order to ensure the successful conduct of the pending election, stressing that the role of political parties and civil society in the process of electioneering is vital and uncompromising.