In handing down the 2017 budget, the government has announced a K400 million allocation for the 2017 General Elections.
This is a significant but expected increase in funding the start of elections in less than six months.
Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, who was in the budget lock up this morning said he was pleased with the outcome after months of uncertainty over funding. K121 million of this funding is allocated for security purposes while the rest is for the administration of the elections.
“Our biggest security threats will be in urban areas and in the highlands,” Gamato said.
An additional K30 million has also been promised this month to the Electoral Commission. This will be used to purchase what the Electoral Commissioner says are big ticket items such as ballot boxes and ballot papers.
By next year, preparations will focus on new ward boundaries and election schedule and locations.
As of July this year, the Electoral Commission received an actual total of K46.8 million to cover operations, recurrent costs and by elections in Samarai-Murua, South Bougainville and Kandep.
As a priority for next year, the General Elections will be one of the first sectors to receive funding once revenue starts rolling in next year.