National, News

SPLM-IO criticizes ‘discriminative’ election budget allocation

By Bida Elly David


Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) criticizes the finance ministry of its manner of allocating funding to election-related institutions.

Terming it “discriminatory”, Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, deputy chairman of the SPLM-IO party, says the method is unfair.

He highlighted in a statement that among the election-related institutions, only two received funding.

“It has come to our knowledge that the Political Parties Council (PPC) and the National Elections Commission have recently been given money for the pre-election activities,” he stated.

Presenting facts about the discrimination, Oyet quoted Hon. James Akol Zakayo, the head of the political parties’ council, who confirmed receiving resources for their activities.

“Electoral institutions have been provided with sufficient resources necessary for elections; among them is the political parties’ council. This is an official statement from me that we have been given the necessary resources that are meant for the elections,” Oyet recited the statement from PPC chair James Akol Zakayo, as quoted by Eye Radio.

According to the main opposition party, releasing funding to only two institutions while leaving others is a violation of the institutional budget earlier approved by the Council of Ministers.

“It is to be noted that the Council of Ministers, in its regular meeting on February 9, 2024, passed a supplementary budget for six (6) critical election-related institutions,” he said.

Detailing the allocation of the budget, Oyet mentioned the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) with $23.7 million out of the $43 million requested.

Political Parties’ Council (PPC) with $16.3 million out of $60 million requested; National Elections Commission (NEC) with $27.2 million out of $230.5 million requested.

Furthermore, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has an allocation of $12.1 million out of the 107 million requested, and the National Transitional Committee (NTC) has an approved sum of $9.4 million out of the 130 million requested.

Finally, election security by the Ministry of Interior requested $13.6 million out of the 105 million.

On the released funds, Mr. Oyet stated that the political parties’ council received the sum of $5 million out of the targeted supplementary budget of $16 million, while the National Elections Commission received the sum of $15 million out of $27 million, respectively.

The SPLM-IO deputy chairman also noted that the ill-judgmental decision of the government is a strategy to undermine other institutions.

“This is a deliberate plan to undermine the most critical institutions of the agreement leading to the conduct of elections; this further demonstrates the lack of political will for the implementation of the R-ARCSS in letter and spirit,” he said.

The opposition parliamentary head said they are still concerned about the supplementary budget passed by the cabinet for the facilitation of election activities.

“The supplementary budget should have been the first business of the parliament upon the start of the session; we have noticed that there is an apparent plan for evading the tabling of the supplementary budget in the parliament,” he echoed.

The SPLM-IO leadership has called on the minister of finance and planning to urgently present the targeted supplementary budget to the parliament for scrutiny and approval.

Boboya James, a political analyst and executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Research (ISPR), slammed the government for being discriminatory in allocating funding to election institutions.

“The procedure used by the government to allocate the required funding to the political party council and other institutions is illegal and not procedural,” he criticized.

Quoting the Public Finance and Management Act, Boboya stated that any money allocated to institutions has to be put in the budget.

“If it is a supplementary budget, there is one institution that has the constitutional responsibility to look through the budget before they actually spend it, and that is the national parliament,” Boboya stated.

He said the fact that the Ministry of Finance went ahead illegally and started to decide how much money they wanted to allocate to these institutions shows illegality and a lack of seriousness and political will from the unity government.

Moreover, he called on the national parliament to immediately intervene in this illegal act as well as question the finance ministry about how the allocation was done without their consent.

“They should ask the ministry of finance how they approved that money and how they respond to some of these institutions without their notice and within the framework of the Public Finance and Accountability Act,” he stated.

Boboya described the government’s act of illegal allocation of funds as an injustice, saying it has dictated the spirit of checks and balances and undermined parliament’s role and its responsibilities.


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