GECOM commits to quick hiring process as LGE urgency recognised
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GECOM Commissioner, Sase Gunraj
GECOM Commissioner, Sase Gunraj

THE urgency of local government elections is certainly not lost on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as the statutory body met earlier Friday to discuss the way forward for filling key positions in the commission’s secretariat, and agreed to move expediently.

In an invited comment from the Guyana Chronicle, GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj said after the commission’s meeting on Friday, the body will take a few days in the coming week to bring finality to the way in which the hiring process is done. This could include refining the shortlist as well as detailing how the interviewing and evaluation process is to be completed.

The country eagerly awaits the conclusion of this process as local government election hangs in the balance. Gunraj was cautious not to give a projected timeline of when either the hiring process or the elections itself would be concluded.

One potential candidate who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they have not yet been officially notified of the shortlisting, except through media reports.

With there being reports of a variance in opinion between representatives of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) on the shortlisted candidates as well as the way interviews are done, the unofficial public list of candidates could be further reduced by the time this part of the process is concluded.

The elections commission will decide on hiring a Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Assistant Chief Election Officer/Assistant Commissioner for National Registration (ACEO/ACNR), Logistics Manager, Chief Accountant, Legal Officer, and Civic and Voter Education Manager.

As it currently stands, the unofficial list of candidates for CEO is Vishnu Persaud, Aneal Giddings, Eugene Petty, Deodat Persaud, Kurt Clarke, and Leslie Harrow. Contenders for DCEO include Melanie Marshall, Neil Bacchus, Mohamed Arjoon, and Deodat Persaud.

Interested applicants for Assistant Chief Elections Officer/Assistant Commissioner for National Registration (ACEO/ACNR) are Delon Clarke, Noland Jervis, Melanie Marshall, Paul Jaisingh, Mohamed Arjoon, Neil Bacchus, Deolall Ramlall, Deodat Persaud, Natasha Grenion Dipchand, Andrea Sparman, Duarte Hetsberger, and Colin April.

In late September, GECOM met to approve the advertising of key positions of the elections commission’s secretariat which were made vacant as a result of the massive shake-up following the plethora of challenges experienced during the 2020 general and regional elections which almost saw the A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition returning to government through strange processes.

Several charges have since been laid against former top elections officials.

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