IEC cash strapped, seeks millions of funding

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Maseru, October 29 – Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) faces a challenge of a funding requirement of more than M286 million for next year’s parliamentary election.

This amount exceeds that of the 2012 electoral process by M86 million.

The IEC Public Relations Officer Tuoe Hant’si told newsline365.wordpress.com that the electoral process commenced without any cash due to lack of budget allocation. He said a request to the government for a M286 million funding has been tabled, saying a relaxation of the procurement regulations has also been sought.

According to Hant’si the commission also faces a challenge of a time frame within which electoral process should be carried on. He said tendering processes for election materials have to be carried out at the time that many companies close business for the festive season.

Currently, the commission that arranges and runs the election is training three groups of voter educators, mobile registration unit operators and display clerks.

“Such training started this week and we need to intensify voter registration that is meant to run for November. Then the 17 year-olds who will turn 18 on election day will be registered for seven days before the election period ends,” Hant’si said.

A holding of general election has been criticised by some opposition political parties arguing the exercise will be costly to the country.

The election has been brought forward from the 2017 due to political unrest resolved by a signing of a Maseru Facilitation Declaration by political party leaders under the SADC mission. The last national poll was held in 2012 resulting in a formation of a coalition government of three parties.

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