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NEC submits over $91m budget

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–For 2023 presidential, legislative elections

he National Elections Commission (NEC), consistent with Section 11.2 ofthe New Elections Law of Liberia has submitted over US$91 million budget to the Liberian Senate ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.Section 11.2 of the New Elections Law states that the commission shall submit an annual budget directly to the Legislature of Liberia for consideration and approval.

The provision says further that the Ministry of Finance shall, on or before July 1 and January 1 in each fiscal year, cause the amount approved for the following half year for the general administration for the commission and for preparing for and conducting election or referendum, to be paid into an account established and operated by the commission.

In a budget submitted on Tuesday, 1 June, 2021 and signed by NEC Chairperson Dividetta Browne Lansanah, the commission said the total amount US$91,958,546.70 million is needed for the conduct of the election during which biometric system will be used to conduct voters’ registration which is described internationally as fraud free process.

The aim of implementing biometric election technology is achieving de-duplication of the voter registration, thus preventing multiple voting; improving identification of the voter at the polling station, and mitigating the incidence of voter fraud.

Following the reading of the draft budget in plenary, a motion was filed by Maryland County Senator Gbleh-bo Brown that the communication be sent to the Committee on Autonomous Agency and Ways, Means and Finance to report to plenary within two weeks for legislative action.

Meanwhile, the breakdown of the budget includes Biometric Voter Registration Pilot Project, $3,968,304.8; Biometric Voter Registration, $29, 680, 200; Public Information $795,590; Graphic Information System $561, 932.4 and Data Center $3, 442,340.

Further in the breakdown, NEC proposes allotments as Civic Voters Education Activities, $6, 881,655; Gender Voters Education, $1,308,510; Elections 2023, $16, 560,425.4; Presidential Runoff Elections, $12,062,333; Operations Headquarters, $8,932,053.5; Operations Field, $3,454, 682.8; Personnel and Related Expenses, $3,838,680 and Monitoring and Evaluation $471,840.5.

By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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