PERMIT me space in your newspaper to comment on an issue, which if not handled properly by GECOM, could become an unnecessary issue about race and alleged discrimination.
On the face of it, the PPP commissioners at GECOM could perhaps be genuinely forgiven for believing that Vishnu Persaud’s race had played the greatest part in him not being selected as the deputy chief elections officer, a post I am aware he had held for a number of years during the Steve Surujbally era.
But from what I know, there had been much discontent with his handling of voter education exercises and programmes during the time Mr. Persaud had worked both as the deputy chief and as the public relations insider at GECOM. He was the one responsible for voter education and could have done a better job while he was at it. I think that commissioners who had been in place for a while would have noted questions about his performance and leaned towards voting against him as they did. They also might have briefed Chairman Mr. James Patterson about this, hence the fact that he threw in his casting vote to settle the issue.
I therefore sincerely hope that a way could be found to indicate to the general public that there are issues other than race pertaining to Mr. Persaud not getting the nod from the three PNC commissioners and the chairman. I make a case for responsible handling of this issue, because this proverbial albatross of race which hangs around the neck of the Guyanese society, needs no more fuel to ignite racial insecurities and anxieties. Given his vast experience and familiarity with operations at GECOM, I make a bold suggestion for him to be retained in a consultative capacity, given the enormous level of preparations required for local government elections and the general one in 2020. He could do no harm if he is so retained and such a move on the part of those at the agency could help to ease lingering suspicions about the motive for not picking him.