AFC wants GECOM budget slashed by $1 billion
…To avoid “snap elections”
The Alliance for Change (AFC) will today propose that the budget for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) be slashed by $1 billion.
The budget cuts come on suspicion that the government could be looking to call snap elections, after failing to once again secure the Parliamentary majority after the November 28 polls.
“We are trying to block the possibility of a snap regional and general elections,” AFC lead Parliamentarian Khemraj Ramjattan said yesterday.
According to Ramjattan, the yearly budget for GECOM is about $1.7 billion in years when there are no elections. However, the budget announced by Minister Ashni Singh is for $2.7 billion this year.
Ramjattan said that he hardly believes that the extra $1 billion this year is to cater for Local Government Elections.
He said that the AFC does not believe that there will be local government elections this year, because there are five pieces of legislation that must be passed in Parliament and assented to by the President before those elections can be held.
Therefore, Ramjattan questioned why GECOM was being allocated $2.7 billion, and hence the party’s proposal that $1 billion be chopped off.
If by any stretch of the imagination Local Government elections are called, Ramjattan said that the government can easily request the money of the National Assembly.
However, without local government elections clearly in sight, Ramjattan said the AFC would not be the victim of “a sleight of hand” if the government wants to use that chunk of money to call snap elections.