THE Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) takes very seriously statements in an Inews (http://www.inewsgy.com/) report last Saturday on the Young Student Movement (YSM), the Youth Arm of the PNC, where it is calling for the removal of the only two Indo-Guyanese functionaries within the leadership of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
An IAC statement yesterday said it wonders whether this was an ethnically-motivated call as these individuals -Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally and Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Gocool Boodhoo – have both been with the Commission for several elections. The YSM did not offer any reasons for the removal nor questioned the competence or integrity of these officials. Consequently, it then begs the conclusion that this call can only be seen as an attempt to ethnically cleanse the senior leadership of GECOM.
The IAC states that what is more disturbing is that it has been reliably informed that 98% of the statutory staff of GECOM are predominantly of Afro-Guyanese extraction.
“If free and fair elections are to be maintained, the time has come for all political parties and the wider civil society to ensure that the ethnic composition of GECOM staffing reflects that of the population; a situation of an ethnically balanced GECOM can only help the democratic process inspire greater confidence in the Commission and further deepen national unity and tolerance in Guyana,” the IAC contends.
The IAC is urging the YSM to withdraw its call and asks the PNCR whether this is its official position.
“Further the time has come for all parties to insist that GECOM provides the nation with a programme on how it will ensure ethnic balance in its staffing so as to remove doubts and suspicions,” the IAC proffers.