Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Efforts Ongoing to Finalize Election Budget

Efforts Ongoing to Finalize  Election Budget

KABUL - The Ministry of Finance said Saturday government’s meetings with the international community were ongoing and they hoped donor countries would be ready to fund the upcoming parliamentary and district councils’ elections.
Primary assessments by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) reveals that the next parliamentary and district council elections will cost about $120 million USD.
“The share of election has been specified in the national budget. We are working with the international community to finance the remaining part. They [international community] are committed to funding Afghanistan’s elections,” finance ministry spokesman Ajmal Abdul Rahimzai said.
Meanwhile, a number of MPs said the electoral process is faced with other challenges besides its financial problem.
“It is important that the international community should see how much motivation and will the Afghan government has to hold a transparent election,” said Nahid Farid, an MP from Herat.
“Delay in finance of the elections will affect political stability, the stability of democracy and civil society organizations. This will not have a good future if it prevails,” said Kamal Safi, an MP from Parwan.
Meanwhile, member of Election Watch Afghanistan Habibullah Shinwari said the absence of a budget for upcoming elections would affect transparency.
“Our suggestion to the election commission is that it follows mechanisms that lowers elections cost. We have shared our drafts with the election commissions and government in this respect ,” Shinwari told TOLOnews.
This comes after a report by TOLOnews indicated that more than $1 billion USD has been spent on Afghanistan’s elections since 2003. (Tolonews)