GYD$3.4 billion parliamentary approval for electoral polls not connected to CCJ decisions – Finance Minister

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2019, 16:25 by Writer

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

Guyana’s National Assembly on Thursday approved GYD$3.4 billion for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to conduct general elections, but Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that has nothing to do with decisions the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) might hand down concerning several election-related cases.

“This provision, I want to say today, is not in anticipation of anything that the CCJ may or may not say or decide on,” he told the House in the absence of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that continues to boycott sittings of the National Assembly.

Jordan said the monies were being allocated to GECOM in keeping with President David Granger’s promise to the commission to provide the required amount of cash to conduct the general and 10 regional administrative elections. “It is one on in keeping with the President’s commitment even before the matter went to the CCJ, that after the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission wrote to him requesting funding for the actual holding of the elections he had committed to giving the elections commission the resources for the conduct of those elections,” Jordan said.

The Finance Minister referred to moves towards house-to-house registration. GECOM Chairman, James Patterson has said that after the registration process, elections could be held in November, 2019. The PPP has since challenged the constitutionality of having house-to-house registration which is set to begin next month.

Jordan noted that the polls are constitutionally due in 2020.

The House voted for GYD$3.3 billion for current expenditures and GYD$182.3 million for capital expenditures — all for the preparations for elections.

The CCJ is, in the coming weeks, expected to hand down its decision in consolidated appeals on whether last December’s no-confidence motion was validly passed by the 65-seat National Assembly. Judgment would also be given on whether President Granger’s unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chairman was unconstitutional or he ought to have given reasons for his rejection of the Opposition Leader’s 18 nominees.