Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Electoral Commission unhappy with budget allocation

Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen is unhappy with the K330.5 million allocation for the 2012 general election announced by Treasurer Don Polye yesterday, The National reports.
He said in reality, the commission was being given K180 million when it had asked for K240 million for the July 2012 election.
Trawen said it was because the election budget included allocations for the three disciplinary forces.
He said the K180 million was manageable “given that some of the areas need to be shelved”.
“I’m not happy that EC was funded K180 million but we can cut down on some areas in order to conduct a free and fair democratic election,” he said.
He said it was important the election was conducted properly  and that the people elected their representatives.
Trawen said the biggest problem with elections in Papua New Guinea was the geo­graphy of the country, “which requires a lot of money”.
But, he said, despite the limited funding, he would able to conduct a fair election with the help from the Defence Force, Police and Correctional Service.
In announcing the K330.5 million election budget, Polye said the 2012 election funding “is more than the K61 million allocation for the 2007 general election, an increase of more than K269.5 million”.
He said funding for next’s election included salaries, security and logistics.
He said to conduct a fair and free democratic election, “security will be increased throughout the country”.
He said the allowances would include more than 700 special and regular policemen and women and another 400 police recruits who would be engaged in the operations and for the inclusion of another 3,650 reservists
Polye said among the police officers would be 650 defence force personnel and 250 Correctional Service personnel.
Logistics are expected to cover the use and hire of defence helicopters and planes, including those that will be hired from private companies

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