Kenya's electoral body lacks funds for August referendum

17:02, July 06, 2010      

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Kenya's independent electoral poll body said it does not have enough funds to conduct the referendum on the new constitution, schedule on August 4.

The chairman of Kenya's Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Ahmed Isaack Hassan said the finance ministry has failed to provide adequate funding needed for the electoral body to conduct the upcoming referendum, despite repeated appeals.

Hassan said the commission had requested the Treasury for 4.6 billion shillings (about 58 million U.S. dollars) for the vote, but only received a paltry 2.6 billion shillings (about 32.5 million dollars).

"Unless we get the money we will be unable to carry out the exercise," Hassan told Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs late Monday.

Kenya's parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs has subsequently summoned the finance and justice ministers, as well as officials of the electoral commission, to resolve any problems that could derail the upcoming referendum.

The new development came as it also emerged that the activities of most of the commissions formed in 2008 after the country's post- election violence were likely to be hampered by lack of adequate funding.

Besides printing ballot papers and purchasing new transparent ballot boxes, the electoral commission will employ over 60,000 temporary workers to assist in the referendum.

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