Gecom rejects calls for public vetting of polling day staff

Gecom rejects calls for public vetting of polling day staff
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday brushed aside accusations of being “sinister” and “undemocratic” and reinforced it’s disinterest to publicly vet workers for the May 11 elections.

The governing People’s Progressive Party Civic  (PPP /C) said it was perturbed at the Commission’s unwillingness to subject all polling day staff to a public vetting process and said the body’s refusal amounts to being sinister and undemocratic against Guyanese.

The ruling Party has been raising the issue for several weeks, but the elections body has insisted that such a move would not be the smartest thing to do at a time when recruitment for polling day staff is reportedly slowed.

The People’s Progressive Party wants GECOM to publish photographs and names of all of the persons it will be hiring for election day duties so that they could be vetted by the public.

The PPP has been the lone advocate in its call for public vetting.

GECOM has since defended its recruitment policy and indicated that the body has no intention to budge in the face of criticism from the governing Party.

Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Vishnu Persaud told News Source when contacted on Monday  that he was sticking to his earlier position.

Last week, he said GECOM’s recruitment process did not lack transparency and encompassed public advertisement of vacancies and training for those shortlisted.

“Against this background we are confident that the persons we have appointed to work on elections day and the persons appointed to work even before are persons that were accurately trained and demonstrated their competence and the same principle we will apply as we move forward,” Persaud explained.

He said in response to the call for public vetting, persons have already indicated that they will not work if that is to be done. “So in effect this can be seen as a disincentive.”

Rohee says the party is aware of these defenses but maintains that public vetting was necessary and should be conducted to guarantee the transparency and integrity of the electoral process.

He said history has proven that polling day staff could have a negative impact on the electoral process.

The PPP GS said emphasis must be placed on recruiting experienced and qualified persons through a neutral and trandparent process.   This is the first time that the governing PPP which has been in power since 1992 is making a call for the public vetting of all polling day staff. (Kurt Campbell)

Filed: 24th March 2015


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