By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In an effort to prevent obstacles on Election Day, Cabinet has approved a $20 million contract for the procurement of Duracell batteries for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Cabinet also gave its no objection to the award of a $35.2 million contract for the procurement of ballot boxes, security seals and other “sensitive materials” for the Election Body, according to Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon.
When questioned at his post cabinet media briefing today (Wednesday, January 07) at the Office of the President, Dr Luncheon told Reporters that new ballot boxes are needed since the old ones are preserving evidence.
“The challenge to the results of elections demands the preservation of evidence…in that context, somewhere in Guyana there are ballot boxes filled with ballots cast…heaven knows how far back,” Dr Luncheon explained.
He noted that GECOM is not inclined to dispose of such evidence. As it relates to the exorbitant amount allocated for the procurement of Duracell batteries, the Cabinet Secretary explained one scenario of GECOM not relying on the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) to provide adequate and stable electricity on elections day.
“The expenditure was not idly resorted to. Some see it as an indictment of the power sector,” he said.
Dr Luncheon admitted that the $20 million allocation did raise some eyebrows in Cabinet; however given GPL’s unstable supply of electricity across the country, the amount was justified.
“Better safe than sorry,” Dr Luncheon reasoned. The next scenario he explained has to do with the fact that GECOM may have a lot of battery operated equipment.