Deputy Speaker urges GECOM Chair to seek external help for hiring of top election officers

Deputy Speaker urges GECOM Chair to seek external help for hiring of top election officers

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party, Lenox Shuman has written to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, urging her to seek help from outside of GECOM for the hiring of the Chief Election Officer and the other top GECOM positions.

On Tuesday, the GECOM Chairman joined the Government nominated GECOM Commissioners and voted against a motion submitted by the Opposition-nominated Commissioners for an independent panel to be set up to assist in the hiring process of the top election officers.

In wake of that decision, the Deputy Speaker in his letter to the GECOM Chairman asked her to use her office to seek external support for the hiring process for the very important positions at the Commission.

Mr. Shuman said the troubles of the political history of Guyana and the troubles that reoccur are but a few page-turns away, adding that there continue to be two political parties that purport to represent Guyana sitting on the Commission when in fact both sides are partisan.

He reminded that the last elections saw arguably the largest number of observer missions and in all the reports, there have been consistent calls for a revision of a variety of processes to ensure an impartial and unbiased Commission.

Shuman said the Commission should be guided to solicit and accept support from its international partners to conduct the hiring process to fill the important offices and restore the integrity, credibility and public’s confidence in the commission.

He said without that independent help, there is a public fear that the status quo at GECOM will once again lend itself to political manipulation.

The main opposition coalition and at least the leadership of one of the non-parliamentary parties have also called for the hiring to be done by an independent panel.

GECOM recently advertised vacancies for a number of top positions including Chief Elections Officer and Deputy Chief Elections Officer.

The positions became vacant following the termination of the contracts of the previous holders of the positions.

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