Foreigners could apply for top GECOM posts but Commissioner eyes competent Guyanese

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The advertisements for seven top vacant positions at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) were published for the first time on Friday.

It outlines a series of stringent qualifications and experience needed for employment, particularly for the posts of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a Deputy CEO. But according to Commissioner Bibi Shadick, the requirements are normal. She explained in a telephone interview with the News Room on Friday that the criteria had always existed.

“These are standard, these were there,” she clarified, noting that even foreigners can apply for the positions. Notwithstanding, Shadick says there is enough competence in Guyana.

“You’d be amazed at how many people can apply, in my mind and in my thoughts I wasn’t focusing on people, I was focusing on getting someone with competence.

“You have a lot of people who have been working with GECOM long time man,” she added.

GECOM Commissioner, Bibi Shadick

The GECOM Commissioner said when the advertisements were being approved some commissioners felt that the requirements were rigorous and wanted it reduced, something she objected to.

“You are asking me a question that I have stayed away from in all of this because when they were setting the criteria there were some persons who wanted to make them less and I objected and accused them of having someone in mind to apply,” she explained.

Shadick said GECOM is only interested in finding the best.

“When we see the applicant, we question them, you will be able to choose the best from what you get. Someone can apply from Africa and I don’t have a problem if they have experience and qualifications but they will have to familiarise themselves with what happens in Guyana.

“Also, you may have experience with India elections but if you are applying to GECOM then the least you have to do is to familiarise yourself with the laws and procedure, she added.

For the post of CEO, GECOM is asking that the person be equipped with a Post Graduate Degree in Public Administration, Law, Management or relevant discipline from a reputable and recognised institution and specific training and verifiable experience in managing elections systems along with at least ten years of experience in a senior management position overseeing and directing diverse operations aimed at achieving targets within specific deadlines.

It also notes that at least ten years of experience in the management of national elections and elections systems is a prerequisite requirement. The requirements are similar for the DCEO.

The other advertised posts are for an Assistant CEO, Logistics Manager, Civic and Voter Education Manager, Legal Officer and a Chief Accountant.

The CEO and DCEO were both fired recently by the Commission even as they face several charges linked to electoral fraud committed at the March 02, 2020 elections.

Those posts will have to be filled before GECOM goes to another election. Local Government Elections are due this year with monies already budgeted but with three months remaining in this year, its seems improbable.

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