KIGALI - The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is seeking Frw 6bn to facilitate next year’s Presidential elections, a budget which has more than doubled compared to that of the previous polls held in 2003 which cost Rwf 2.3bn.
According to the commission, the budget will be realized jointly by the government and its development partners.
Charles Munyaneza, the NEC Executive Secretary attributed the increased budget to the number of voters that has shot up which necessitated more facilities like polling centers across the country, including intensified voter education programmes.
Munyaneza revealed that currently there’s a positive response from the government and donors for a joint basket fund where the funds will be pooled.
According to the NEC official, they also intend to use some materials that were used in the previous polls as a way of cutting costs.
Projected voters for the 2010 elections have gone up to 5.2 million against 3.9 million who voted in 2003 and Munyaneza attributed this increase to the number of youths who attained voting age.
Another unique feature in the forthcoming elections is that the voter cards will bare photos of bearers, which was not the case in all previous elections.
He said 2010 elections will further enhance Rwanda’s democratic dispensation saying that hopes are high that these will be free and fair elections.
Munyaneza said that during the 2003 presidential elections, the NEC printed most of election materials like ballot papers and voter cards from outside the country, but for the 2010 ones, all the materials will be printed at the commission.
“We have acquired a modern printery that is installed at our offices which will serve the role of printing not only ballot papers and voter cards, but also civic and voter education materials and other related paper work,” said Munyaneza.
In preparation for the elections, massive civic and voter education campaigns have begun across the country targeting; the youth, women, religious organisations, members of cooperatives, local leaders and farmers organised in associations.
He noted that the commission is continuing to build it’s institutional and human resource capacities mainly through its information technology applications and training of staff in election management and other relevant fields.