The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced January 29 to March 21, 2014 as the new schedule for the Voter Roll Update (VRU) exercise.
NEC made the announcement Thursday at a press conference held at the Commission’s Headquarters in Monrovia.
NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, said the new date follows negotiations with the relevant government institutions, including the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) which granted waiver to allow NEC award contract to hire vehicles to deploy materials and personnel for the VRU exercise.
Korkoya said the waiver follows the issuance of the relevant guarantee to the PPCC by the Ministry of Finance that the NEC has a budgetary appropriation of US$5.6 million in the 2013/2014 National Budget.
As part of efforts to ensure the provision on a timely basis of funding to the process, Chairman Korkoya said the Commission apportioned the Budget for the 2014 Special Senatorial Election in three phases.
Phase I which deals with the Update of the Current Voter Roll and the Exhibition of Provisional Voter Roll has an allotment of US$5.6 million, while Phase II, which is principally concerned with Pre-Election Day Activities such as international procurement of Election Day Materials, Candidate Nomination, Printing of Ballots, etc., is budgeted at US$3.5 million.
The third and final phase is Election Day Activities which include recruitment and training of temporary staff and deployment of Election Day personnel and materials. The cost of this phase, Chairman Korkoya said, is budgeted at US$4.2 million.
“It is the expectation of the Commission that US$2.6 million of the allotted US$5.6 million will be used to complete activities under phase one, while the remaining US$3 million will form part of the budget for phase II,” Chairman Korkoya intimated.
The NEC Boss said as a result of the postponement, the Commission has incurred an additional cost of USD164, 000, specifically in the area of Civic Education and Hiring of additional Data Processing Staff.
He disclosed that the VRU exercise will now commence in centers that were originally scheduled for January 29, 2014, while centers that should have been covered between January 13-28, 2014will now be covered last.
The Commission on January 10 postponed the start of the VRU exercise due to the late passage of the Budget for the Fiscal Year 2013/2014, which impacted the international procurement process of the Commission.
The cost of conducting the 2014 Special Senatorial Election is put at US$15.3 million.