Saturday, September 4, 2010

Village Level Election Commissions Suffer Poor Funding

Maungdaw: Village-level election commissions throughout Arakan State are suffering from a shortage of government funding for their work, said a member of one village election commission in Maungdaw.

"Our village election commission has spent 300,000 kyats from our own pockets for the election work since we were appointed in August to the commission. We especially spent money traveling from our village to Maungdaw several times, and have also spent money for receptions for township Election Commission officials when they visited our village," the source said.

In Maungdaw Township, the Township Election Commission has not provided any funds yet to the village election commissions. Because of the lack of funding, the village election commissions are carrying out their work using their own personal funds.

"We have no authority like the army and village council, known as Rayaka, to collect money from villagers for our work. So we spend our own money for the election mechanism," the source added.

According to local sources, many chairmen from the village election commissions in Maungdaw Township are disappointed with their role and work after the authority has neglected to provide funds for their operation.

A village council clerk who is now secretary of a village election commission told Narinjara over the phone that there is a rumor in Maungdaw that the village commissions will serve food and necessities to polling security forces and poll-booth officials during the election.

After hearing this information, some chairmen want to resign from their village election commission posts out of fear that with the lack of funding from the military government, they will have to spend money from their own pockets to fulfill this duty of providing food and necessities.



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