The Government of Guyana will make $1.1 Billion available to the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM) for the holding of Local Government Elections Commission, (LGE) later this year, according to Governance Minister, Gail Teixiera.
Ms. Teixeira was at the time responding to questions by Opposition Members during the consideration of the budget estimates in the Committee of Supply this morning.
Of that $1.1 Billion, $100M has been set aside for voter education while an additional $185M will go towards the rental of tents, containers, charter flights among other things in preparation for the local polls.
A total of $89M has been set aside for meals and refreshments for Elections day staff while $557M has also been side aside for stipend for polling day staff.
Further, a sum of $135M has been budgeted for elections day staff training and $80M for the rental of properties to be used on polling day.
As it relates to the voter’s list, Ms. Texeira said that issue will come up again when a decision is made at the level of the Election’s Commission but for now, she would only say that when the elections are called the list will go through a process of claims and objections before the final publication.
Asked specifically about monies budgeted for House-to-House registration by Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones, the Minister responded by saying that the decision for House to House registration is one that will have to be made by the Commission.
“There is nothing in the budget that has been prepared. There is nothing in the GECOM budget 2021. No provisions have been made for House-to-House registration. That I believe would be a decision of the Commission. If the Commission makes that decision and additional funds are required, they come back for supplementary to this house and they would be granted it”, she explained.
On the issue of House-to-House registration, the Opposition APNU+AFC coalition has already dispatched a letter to the Chairperson of GECOM as well as the local and international communities alerting them that the Coalition is not prepared to go to another election with the current voter’s list it believes remains inaccurate.
The coalition has also referenced the recommendations of the various observer missions for a new voters list to be compiled.