The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Retired Justice Claudette Singh has combined the list of persons shortlisted by the Government and Opposition GECOM Commissioners for the position of Chief Election Officer.
The Commission will meet on Friday to further discuss the integrated list and finalize the list of persons to be interviewed for the top GECOM positions.
Speaking with News Source this afternoon, Opposition nominated GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander said based on his understanding, Friday’s meeting will address finalizing the list of persons to be interviewed.
“The Chairman has sent us a list of persons which will be discussed at the meeting on Friday to determine the final list of persons to be interviewed. The Chairman has sent us a list, it is an integrated list, of the submissions by the Commissioners and she has indicated that she wishes for us to meet on Friday to discuss that list and to make a determination of who finally will be interviewed”, Commissioner Alexander explained.
Meanwhile, he has also rubbished a report in another section of the press which claimed that the Opposition Commissioners do not plan to interview candidates that they did not submit. He said there is no such position and the report is erroneous.
“My position is that the persons to be interviewed should be the persons who meet the criteria that GECOM had pre-determined…we have not objected to interviewing anyone but what we have said is that the persons to be interviewed must be the persons who have met the criteria. So, we haven’t said we are not looking at your names, we will be looking at all names against the background of the criteria and if they don’t meet the criteria, we don’t feel that they should be interviewed”.
Government nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj also spoke to News Source this afternoon.
Mr. Gunraj said his understanding of the integrated list sent to the Commissioners by the GECOM Chairperson is that it represents the list of persons to be interviewed and it is now only up to the Commission to decide on that interviewing process.
“I don’t know that the list requires any finalization. What I believe is that the list represents the persons who were suggested by the Opposition Commissioners and persons who were shortlisted by Commissioner Shadick. Myself and Commissioner Narayan did not submit a list. Now that the integrated list has been submitted to us, it is my expectation that we move to the interviews. My understanding of the meeting on Friday is for us to discuss the modus, the timing, the how we will conduct the interviews, the evaluation process”, Mr. Gunraj said.
The Opposition Commissioners submitted the names of the three foreign applicants to be shortlisted for the GECOM top job while Commissioner Shadick on behalf of the Government side, submitted the names of the same three foreigners along with three local persons including two current GECOM staffers and a former GECOM staffer for the CEO position.
Commissioner Gunraj today said he also believes that only the persons who meet the requirements and fit the criteria for the position should be interviewed.
“I will only want to interview who meet the requirements of GECOM in the advertisements. If, of course, there is any protracted debate or dilatory tactics on determining who is qualified or not, then that’s another story”, Gunraj said.
The Elections Commission has found itself facing a slowdown in its operations because of the absence of the Chief Election Officer and other key GECOM personnel.
Almost 20 persons initially applied for the CEO position but the number was reduced as the two sides at the Commission submitted their shortlisted candidates.
GECOM has been without a Chief Election Officer since August after the Commission by a majority vote, terminated the contracts for the last CEO Keith Lowenfield, his Deputy and the Returning Officer for Region Four.
The absence of the key personnel along with other factors has resulted in local government elections for this year no longer being possible.
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