EC: Budgetary constraints affecting election preparations

File photo from Presidential Election 2018. (File Photo)

The insufficient budget allocated for the parliamentary elections is affecting election preparations, says Elections Commission (EC).

EC was originally allocated a budget of MVR 80 million for the upcoming parliamentary elections, but the budget was supplemented with an additional MVR 9.2 million by the Parliament.

Spokesperson and member of EC, Ahmed Akram said the EC had requested Ministry of Finance for the additional MVR 9.2 million, but was informed by the ministry that there was no mention of the additional MVR 9.2 million in the budget report.

“We feel face difficulties in making certain arrangements for the parliamentary elections. We are looking to see if we can negotiate with the government for additional funds,” said Akram.

EC, when the State Budget 2019 had been under evaluation, requested the budget evaluation committee of the Parliament for MVR 123 million for the parliamentary elections. The committee had decided it couldn’t increase the budget by the requested amount and increased the budget by MVR 9.2 million.

Parliamentary Elections 2019 is scheduled to be held on April 6.