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Women dominate Opposition’s pick for GECOM Chair

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By Leroy Smith

The Leader of the Opposition has commenced shortlisting applicants for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The News Room has received unconfirmed reports that the parliamentary opposition is pushing to have a female head the Election body as its Chairman, Steve Surujbally is preparing to demit office. Surujbally who has served as GECOM Chairman for the past 15 years.

We were told that among the three females who have so far been contacted include a former Minister of the Bharrat Jagdeo administration; Attorney at law Bibi Shadik and former Town Clerk, Carol Sooba. The name of the third female was not disclosed, but sources say it could very well be a former female Magistrate.

The constitution of Guyana mandates the Leader of the Opposition to nominate a list of six names from which the President will choose the next head of GECOM.

However, if the president does not agree on any of the names submitted by the opposition leader, then those names would have to be withdrawn and a new selection would have to be submitted.

In addition to this new development, the News Room has also learnt that there are at least two very high-ranking senior officials of the constitutional body who would be resigning from their posts.

Following the elections of 2015 and the audit report into GECOM, the body came in for harsh criticisms for some decisions it took in the lead up to the National Elections of 2015.

The Guyana Elections Commission is a constitutional body which is made up of a chairman, Chief Elections Officer, Deputy Chief Elections Officer and a representative from both the Government and Opposition.

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