Delay in Donor Money Puts NEC in Pinch

Several major donors have not yet delivered the full monetary contribution pledged to the up­coming election process, causing about a $1 million shortfall for the National Election Committee.

The total cost for the elections is $12.5 million and the government previously said it would spend $5 million of its own money, with various donor countries making up the rest. The European Union and Germany, however, have yet to supply the full amount promised to the NEC and the government for the elections, according to NEC and UN Development Program officials.

“We need that money very much and want it in our hands as soon as possible,” said Leng Sochea, spokesman for the NEC, on Tuesday.

According to figures from the UNDP, which has set up a “trust fund” to distribute donor money to the government and NEC for the July 27 elections, the EU still owes the NEC about $800,000 while Germany owes about $35,000.

Some of the money owed to the NEC will be used to pay independent contractors who supply transportation services such as helicopters and other vehicles to the NEC, Leng Sochea said.

If the NEC cannot pay the contractors, the contractors will levy a 0.1 percent late charge against it, he said.

“It’s not that the [European Commission] is reluctant to pay, it’s just a small glitch in our computer system,” said Winston McColgan, charge d’affaires for the EC, the EU’s government body. The full amount of pledged money will be delivered within a few days, he said.

Much of the money the EC will contribute to the elections will go toward election-related training costs and voter education, McColgan said.

Germany has already delivered a $95,000 pledge to the NEC and another $50,000 to the human rights group Adhoc for election-related monitoring, German Ambassador Helmut Ohlraun said Tuesday. That money, which is outside of Germany’s “master plan” for the elections, is different from the $35,000 owed to the NEC, he said.

The reason Germany has not handed over the funds is because that money will be used for post-election matters, he said.



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