Chheng Phon Warns of Poll Budget Woes

National Election Committee President Chheng Phon said Thursday that the electoral pro­cess may be hampered if the NEC cannot get more funding.

“We still need more money to work with,” he said, adding that the NEC is likely to have difficulty providing security and transporting ballot boxes before and during elections unless it gets the estimated $6 million it needs to meet the poll’s $27 million price.

“The budget we have is only 2 or 3 percent of the Untac elections budget,” he said, referring to the 1993 UN-administered polls.

Chheng Phon, however, told those at Thursday’s ballot-order lottery there was no chance the shortfall would postpone the elections. “We have taken this boat into the middle of the river and we are not going to turn back,” he said. “Even if there are difficulties and shortages in the budget, we will reach the other side.”

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