A governance expert has warned that Treasury failure to release money to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for the Constitutional Court sanctioned presidential election might affect the quality and calendar of the poll.
National Integrity Platform national coordinator Jeff Kabondo has said this after MEC announced it is struggling to raise K23 billion for the smooth holding of the election expected to be on July 2.
MEC said the whole election budget is pegged at K34 billion.
“Covid-19 will always be there but this leadership issue (presidential election) has time limit on it. Government needs to solve this leadership issue first,” said Kabondo.
He said failure by the government to release the K23 billion will have a negative impact as MEC will not be able to source voting materials on time.
Government says taken a begging bowl to donors to fund a K23 billion deficit in the budget for the holding of a fresh presidential election.
Treasury spokesperson Williams Banda says the government is in contact of several development partners to top up the K23 billion.
“The government has financial constraints because other resources are being channeled towards the fight against the covid-19,” he said.
EU pulled out its K6 billion funding towards the election, citing it has diverted its funds towards the covid-19 fight and also said the fresh presidential election is illegitimate as parliament is yet to pass relevant electoral laws for the holding of the fresh election.
EU also indicated that it will not send its observer team because of the coronavirus fears.
UNDP said it does not fund elections but provides technical expertise only.
The electoral body’s spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa says the government has only released K6.6 billion out of the promised K29 billion budget for the holding of the election.
Mwafulirwa says the budget will go up to K34 billion after factoring the covid-19 fight budget within the election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :