| 19 April 2024, Friday |

State expenditures on parliamentary elections

Holding the parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday, May 15, has a financial cost to be borne by the Lebanese state. Therefore, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities prepared an estimate for this cost and asked the Council of Ministers to approve the transfer of these funds from the budget reserve to the Ministry of Interior.

The value of the credits is specified in dollars and amounts to 15,474,000 dollars, and is divided according to the international information into two parts:
A part in Lebanese pounds amounting to 198.275 billion pounds, equivalent to 7.931 million dollars, according to the exchange rate of 25 thousand pounds per dollar, and a part in dollars, amounting to 7.143 million dollars.

So this is the specified amount from the Ministry of Interior, but the question remains: How are these amounts spent?
For the most spent expenditures in Lebanese pounds:
– 53.9 billion pounds for polling stations and transportation allowances for poll chiefs and clerks.
– 50 billion pounds in advance to the Lebanese army.
– 50 billion pounds in advance to the Internal Security Forces.
– 35 billion pounds in compensation for the registration committees and compensation for employees and security services.
– 5 billion pounds as an advance to the governors.
– 3.5 billion pounds in compensation for the election supervisory body and the administrative body, and rent allowance for headquarters.
– 474.1 million pounds in advance to the General Directorate of Political Affairs and Refugees.

This is for expenditures in pounds, as for those in dollars, they are divided as follows:
– $4.5 million in pre-made ballot papers, publications, and stationery.
– $1 million programs for issuing results and linking the committees electronically.
– 450 thousand dollars, the fees for transporting televisions, cameras, insulators, generators and ballot boxes, returning them to warehouses, transporting publications, and technicians’ wages.
– 450 thousand dollars for training polling station employees, employees of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, and employees of the Ministry of Justice, and a transfer allowance during the training period.
– 250 thousand dollars for the purchase and maintenance of generators and subscription contracts to secure the electric current.
– $200,000 for preparing voter lists and distributing ballot centers at home and abroad.
– $103,000 for technical and office equipment for the Election Supervision Commission.
– $100 thousand cash bills.

Practically, preparations for the elections have begun, but the pace is still slow. Will the state be able to secure these funds to conduct this entitlement, amid its inability to secure the minimum rights of citizens?

  • Sawt Beirut International