Here's another twist to the 'K50 million for Fiji Elections' saga, actually this can be described as 'feeling the salt being rubbed into the wound' if you ponder on it.
Last week we heard how Mista Prime Minista had kindly agreed to aid Fiji in its 2014 'democratic' elections. Seems the majority of ministers and businessmen saw the positives of PNG doing this and those of us who thought it ridiculous were only a few.
But after reading this article in last weeks Post Courier
I think maybe (and this is pure assumption - I haven't heard what Mr Trawen thinks of us giving K50 million of our precious tax monies for the Fiji elections as of yet), just maybe Mista Electoral Komisina might just agree with us that there could have been another form of assistance promised. One that wouldn't burn such a painful hole right in the pocket nearest to where it hurts the most!
I mean if the National Executive Council 'tight-fistedly' gives to our own national elections where is the logic in giving so 'open-handedly' to another nations elections.
I tell you what if Mista Trawen decides to kick up a stink about the unfairness of the funding and does it in a 'playground days' manner, I won't bat an eyelid and will privately stomp my feet and scream in support of his tantrum...
Personally I am all for the idea that with that kind of money, Mista Prime Minista could work on getting on with the process of the much needed Independent Commission Against Corruption (let's face it - we need an ICAC with the amount of misappropriation and plain old theft happening at all levels) going further than 'draft legislation stage' and ensure that it is well resourced and structured...
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
A K15 million in unsettled 2012 election bill will jeopardise the coming June local level government elections, Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen said yesterday.
Mr Trawen explained that this is because the Electoral Commission still has a funding shortfall of K15 million to pay all of its 2012 elections service providers.
“We have been talking with the National Government since last year but there has been no favorable response forthcoming. My office has now received a number of petitions from our 2012 service providers threatening to boycott the 2013 LLG election.
“Our officers in the provinces have been living with constant threats and some have even closed their offices in fear of their lives since the conclusion of the 2012 elections and this is not acceptable.
“My concern is the well-being and life of my provincial election managers and assistant election managers,” Mr Trawen said.
He pointed out that the Commission has the constitutional mandate to conduct periodic free elections at the interval of once every five years under Section 50 of the National Constitution and the National Government is constitutionally obliged to sufficiently fund these elections.
Mr Trawen, however, said the National Government did provide outstanding payment budget support of K35 million towards the end of last year which was used to pay for vehicle hires, while other service providers like catering and accommodation missed out as vehicle hires alone had cost the Commission K30 million.
“The Commission is now asking the National Government to provide K15 million, which is the balance of the initial K240 million election budget so that it can settle its debts before the LLG elections in two months time.
He said the Commission had initially requested for K240 million to conduct the 2012 elections, however, the National Government approved and appropriated only K180 million resulting in a huge funding shortfall of K60 million.
Mr Trawen said the Commission’s election budget was then revised to K225 million and the Government appropriated an additional budget support of K10 million during the election period and another K35 million as outstanding payment budget support. He said the K35 million was used to settle vehicle hire bills, but accommodation and catering bills are still outstanding. Mr Trawen wants all those service providers who have yet to be paid to know that the Commission has not forgotten them.
“While the Commission continues to negotiate with the National Government for funding, I would like to appeal to you to remain patient and help prepare for the 2013 LLG elections,” he said.