MONROVIA – Contrary to assertions made by President George Weah at the 78th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) regarding measures taken to ensure the conduct of credible elections this year, the head of the country’s electoral body, Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, has disclosed that the National Elections Commission (NEC) is yet to receive from the Weah administration all of the funding needed for the elections.
In his address at the UNGA on Wednesday, 20 September, at the UN Headquarters, in New York, USA, President Weah announced to the world that all necessary measures including strengthening the NEC to ensure it operates without undue influence, have been taken.
“The Government of Liberia has taken all necessary measures to ensure a free, fair, transparent, peaceful, inclusive and credible elections,” Mr. Weah said, adding; “The National Elections Commission has been strengthened to ensure that it operates without undue influence.”
But immediately the next day following the president’s UNGA speech, NEC boss Browne-Lansanah, at a press briefing disclosed that the Commission is yet to receive from the Weah-led government a balance of over US$3.2 million needed to conduct the 10 October presidential and legislative elections.
Smart News Liberia (SNL) reported this week that to date, the Weah administration has released to the NEC, a little over US$49 million, which represents 80 percent of a US$53 million budget submitted by the Commission as funding needed for the conduct of the country’s impending presidential and legislative elections.
According to the SNL report, a balance of over US$3.2 million intended for the conduct of an imminent presidential run-off election is yet to be released by the Liberian government to the NEC.
National Elections Commission Chairperson Browne-Lansannah at a press briefing on Thursday, corroborated the SNL report but indicated that the Commission was working with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning regarding the release of the balance of the elections-funding.