Put US$8.3 Million elections Funds in ECOM's Account

...Political Parties Tell Press. Taylor

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 15, 2003

Registered political parties in the country have requested the Elections Commission(ECOM) to prevail on President Charles Taylor to deposit into its(ECOM) bank account the amount of US$8.3m which is the approved budget for the electoral process. The parties said this will encourage the donor community, partners and true friends of Liberia to believe that the commission is serious to conduct the pending elections as planned and in transparency.

The political parties in their request said it was disheartening that government would choose to release the required funding in bits and pieces to the ECOM, which they believe does not augur well for the process.

They said the outright deposit of the total of ECOM’s funds in its account will show to the international community that indeed Liberia is serious and prepared to hold the pending elections come October 14th this year.

The political parties request comes in the wake of remarks made by ECOM’s Chairman Paul Guah that his commission is facing serious financial inability to conduct its programs.

The ECOM boss yesterday during a consultative meeting with political parties said, ECOM has recruited election registrars and magistrates and other auxiliary workers but does not have the funds to pay them.

Chairman Guah said although these individuals have been trained by ECOM for the assignment, the problem has become compounded and needs urgent intervention by friends of Liberia, political parties and the European Union.

He then called on political parties who have friends abroad to appeal to them to assist the commission with funding or material support.

However, the ECOM Chairman maintained that if the political parties foresee anything with the ongoing electoral process, they should write the commission as it cannot do for a political party what it should do for itself.

Mr. Guah said his commission had series of meetings with the European Union on the drafted elections proposal but is yet to receive any response on the issue.

Meanwhile, an executive member of the Liberia Action Party, Mr. Harry Greaves informed Chairman Guah that there are some international friends or organizations who were prepared to assist the commission.

He said organizations that are prepared to render financial and other assistance to ECOM include the International Electoral Services and the European Commission, but were only waiting on the request from the Liberian Government.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.