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Local Govt elections to cost about GUY$2 billion

Minister of State Joseph Harmon being assisted by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Omar Sharif and GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield in responding to questions from the PPPC.

Guyana’s long overdue Local Government Elections (LGE), expected to be held later this year, and is expected to cost GUY$2 billion, according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

A breakdown shows that GUY$1.483 billion and GUY$371 billion have been allocated for current expenditure, while GUY$55 million is for capital expenses.

Assisted by top officials of the Guyana Elections Commission, he was at the time responding questions  from the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) about budgeted estimates of expenditure.

Harmon said GUY$250 million have been set aside for 585 billboard and components of voter education strategy.

GECOM has already spent GUY$10.4 million of GUY$27,878 million on staff training, which would include the training of trainers, the training of senior staff on best practices. GECOM also intends to tap into a reservoir of 12,000 persons who were trained for the general and regional elections that were held in May 11, 2015.

Secretarial services are expected to cost GUY$632 million, he said.

The Minister of State said GECOM procures goods and services in accordance with the process of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).

After consulting with the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, the minister told the Committee of Supply that GECOM might ask for money after the completion of the Claims and Objections period.

GECOM hopes to hold Local Government Elections in December, 2015 in keeping with government’s desire. Those polls were last held in 1994.