Kenya will have one of the world’s most expensive elections next year if electoral officials get their way. Standard Digital can report that taxpayers risk paying several times more per voter than people in other countries fork out. This raises serious questions on whether the proposed costs of the next General Election have been inflated. Officials with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission today rejected Sh17 billion set aside by Treasury for the planned March 4, 2013 poll. Instead, they are demanding Sh35 billion to conduct the first election under the new constitution as well as an anticipated run-off shortly thereafter. IEBC chairman Mr Isaack Hassan said if they plan the March 4, 2013 elections using the Sh17.5 billion Treasury has allocated the commission in the 2012/2013 budget, they will be forced to extend the election date by two or three days. He said the commission’s budget has a deficit of Sh23 billion and it will cost them at least Sh17.5billion to carry out a re-run in case of a tie in the presidential election.
Hassan and his Chief Executive Officer Mr James Oswago who appeared before the parliamentary Justice and legal Affairs Committee said yesterday they require a minimum of Sh35billion to carry out efficient and credible election next year. “Election expenses are dictated by the type of an election the country wants to hold. The report of the Johann Kriegler Commission criticized the defunct ECK for allowing dead voters to participate in the 2007 General Election. So a huge chunk of the money were asking the treasury to give us will go to capital investment like purchase of biometric equipment for voters’ registration, acquisition of electronic poll books among other things,” said Hassan.
He said will be the first time the country was voting in six elections in a day, which will take voters longer than the previous polls.
“On average it takes a voter 4 to minutes to complete the six ballot papers. And will take an assisted voter a minimum of 15 minutes to complete the exercise,” said the IEBC chairman. Oswago, who took the committee through the commission’s vote in the proposed budget, said the Treasury decision to reduce their funding by more than a half has affected the preparation for the upcoming elections.
Full Article: Standard Digital : Kenya’s poll among world’s most costly.