KABUL - The cumbersome procurement procedure and inefficient budget expenditure system are major challenges to holding timely elections, Independent Elections Commission (IEC) Spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said.
Speaking to TOLOnews on Saturday, he emphasized that bureaucracy in the procurement system at the Ministry of Finance and the long bidding process could impede the purchase of the necessary materials ahead of the elections.
"Our main concern is the budgetary processes for procurement. Considering the paperwork at the Ministry of Finance, if they were given budget responsibility, the work of organizing the elections could face serious challenges," Noor told TOLOnews.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance stressed that procurement laws and procedures will be enforced in all government procurements.
"The Finance Ministry cannot ignore the procurement law for elections procurement process. The ministry distributes budgets to all government organs, and there has been no major challenge so far, and there is no need for the Election Commission to worry," Media Adviser to the Ministry of Finance Najibullah Manali told TOLOnews on Saturday.
He went on to urge that the budget for the IEC should be processed through government channels; otherwise, it could challenge the transparency and independence of the process.
"If foreign donors fund the Election Commission directly, the transparency and independence of the process will come under question," he said.
Insecurity, transparency and budgetary issues are considered to be the main challenges the IEC is facing as it sets out to make the 2014 elections possible.
Both the presidential and provincial council elections will require up to $150 million that apparently will be paid by international donors. (Tolo News)