WITH LESS THAN a year to the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election in the country the National Elections Commission (NEC) has begun crying foul over serious budgetary constraints as the Commission says it has not received the needed funding to carry out the process.
IT IS OUR understanding that to date the Commission has not received its allotment in the 2013/14 Fiscal Budget. On the other hand NEC said its budget has greatly been slashed by the National Legislature from US$15.3 million to just US$4.3 million something the Commission has described as grossly inadequate for the conduct of the Special Election throughout the country.
NEC SUBMITTED A budget of US$15.3 million for the Legislature’s consideration but the amount was slashed and badly reduced to US$4.3 million.
THIS, ACCORDING TO NEC has become a serious situation as there are lots still needed to be done including Civil Voters Education which is a key component and other major activities to be done in conducting the Special Election throughout the country.
THOUGH NEC IS seeking the intervention of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to augment its budget for the Special election, we are also adding our voice to that of the Commission that the issue of funding must not stall the pending election because whatsoever happens in the process will be blamed on the NEC.
LET US GO beyond the misconception that elections are only on polling days because indeed there are lots of other things in conducting elections especially an election that is to be held throughout the country in the midst of the difficult situation facing the country including deplorable road conditions.
ELECTION AS WE all know involves the issue of Civic Voter Education, sensitization, Voters’ Registration, deployment of polling materials, identification of precincts and many more. These are things that must be done to ensure free, fair and transparent election.
THE ISSUE OF election is also time-bound and as a result, if things are not done in keeping with time factor, it will have serious consequences on the election itself and its results. Considering the several activities involved in the process, it is imperative that NEC be given the necessary support to conduct the pending Special Election.
LET THOSE THAT are responsible act now to avoid anything that will be counterproductive to our young democratic process. Give NEC the needed support to play its part of the political game.