Sources: IEC yet to get budget for parliamentary election

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 02:53 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 79 times

While the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced the parliamentary election date, it has not yet received the budget necessary to conduct the election, with some sources from the electoral commission revealing that they don’t expect the government and international community to provide them with the money on time. 

 

IEC, however, stresses the government has given them a sum of money necessary to make some primary   arrangements for the parliamentary and district council elections.

Well-placed sources from the Independent Election Commission disclosed to The Heart of Asia that government had given them as many as $1.3 million to evaluate voting centers, and committed $50 million more to help them digitalize the system, which would be equally covered by the government and international community, but not in the near future. 

The source also revealed the government has not yet given even a dollar to IEC for election, and it seemed the mistrust and stained relations between IEC and the government would further affect the process. 

According to the source, a female election commissioner accused her counterparts at a meeting two weeks ago of having no independence, and therefore, they could not make decisions, thereby delaying the parliamentary election under one name or another. 

While the government should have taken preparations for the security and budget of the presidential election, it has not yet secured the $100 million budged needed for parliamentary election, the sourced maintained. 

Falling short of elaboration on the issue, IEC only acknowledges the allocation of a small amount of money for the commission. 

Wasima Badghisi, the deputy IEC chairperson for operations, told The Heart of Asia the government had promised to provide budget to the commission for election, and initials steps have also been taken. 

She did not clarify what kind of budget was given to the commission, but confirmed international assistance was needed to hold the parliamentary election. 

Despite several attempts, IEC Chief Electoral Officer Imam Mohammad Warimach refused to talk to The Heart of Asia on the issue. 

Adam Khan Sirat, a former IEC employee, said one major problem for the upcoming election was a lack of coordination between government and the electoral commissions. For the election to take place, a timetable should be developed first, and then the budget appropriated as per that timeframe; however, the IEC announced the date of election, and now it did not have the necessary budget. 

Sirat said the provision of money to IEC for evaluation of voting centers, and digitization of election could not be considered as part of the election budget.