A leaked letter from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission says the commission has not received the funding it was allocated for upcoming elections, holding up preparations for the vote. The letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission, known by the French acronym CENI, was a reaction to a government minister’s statement that the commission had enough money to prepare for national, provincial and local elections between now and the end of next year. But Hans Hoebeke, an analyst for the International Crisis Group who follows the DRC’s electoral process, said that according to CENI’s letter, it has received only 17 percent of the funds allocated to it since 2013.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende declined to comment on the figures. But he did say that the $1 billion-plus budget approved by parliament for CENI seemed excessive for a country with a total budget of only $8 billion, and was based on the assumption that external donors would help pay, which they now seem reluctant to do.
Hoebeke described the budget as monumental. He said the elections could be staged for a lot less, and that both the budgeting and the electoral process were far from transparent.
Full Article: DRC Electoral Body Pleads Lack of Funds.