The New Dawn (Monrovia)

26 June 2014

Liberia: NEC Gets U.S.$15 Million for 2014

The National Elections Commission or NEC has netted US$15.3 million for the conduct of the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election. The funds are expected to be used for the entire Special Senatorial Election of 2014.

In recent times, the NEC has complained about the lack, but on Wednesday, the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Joey Kennedy, confirmed in a telephone conversation that the Liberian Government has finally provided the money for the smooth conduct of the senatorial election.

Mr. Kennedy told the NewDawn that though the commitment has been made by the government, the necessary paperwork was still ongoing to its conclusion.

"We have received that commitment from the government to fund the election, and as you maybe beware, the total budget for the election is about US$15.3 million; that money includes all preparations toward the Special Senatorial Election from the beginning to the end of it," he said.

On November 13, 2013, it was reported in the local media that the National Elections Commission submitted a budget of US$21 million, but was reduced to US$3 million by members of the House of Representatives.

Following the decision of the House, both officials of NEC and Finance resubmitted another draft budget of US$15.3 million to cover among other things, logistical constraints, voter roll update, civic and voter's education and accommodation for elections magistrates, are some of the tasks NEC expected to be performed before the special senatorial elections in October next year. The budget also included the purchase of vehicles in the country.

NEC later received US$1.9 million, which it lavished on vehicle rentals alone. On May 13, 2014, officials of registered political parties in the country underscored the need for the provision of adequate funding to facilitate the successful conduct of the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

The political parties said the National Elections Commission (NEC) needed all of the support it can in order to ensure the success of the Special Senatorial Election. The political parties said it sounded troubling that the National Elections Commission was still struggling to acquire the funding needed to conduct the Special election - an imperative of the Constitution of Liberia.

The political parties acknowledged that electoral activities were quite expensive, and as such the need for the provision of the required funding for the conduct of the election could not be overemphasized.

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