GECOM shortlisting applicants for top posts but rules out external interviewers

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With hundreds of applications submitted for seven top positions at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), a process of shortlisting has commenced.

The News Room was informed that at Tuesday’s meeting, a decision was taken to have each of the six commissioners submit, within one week, a shortlist of persons who will go on to be interviewed.

When contacted, PPP/C nominated Commissioner Bibi Shadick told the News Room that shortlisting was important because persons without the required qualification and experience for the jobs, including that of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), had applied.

“People applied who don’t have qualification and we have to rule them out. Some have a Masters, yes, but no experience in elections and you have to get experience to be the CEO,” Shadick explained.

She said while she will submit her list to GECOM Chairman Justice (retired) Claudette Singh by Friday, all Commissioners were given until next Tuesday to do so.

“Hopefully, we will have to interview far less than what submitted,” she added noting that the interviews could be a long and tedious process.

Meanwhile, Shadick said the three PPP/C nominated Commissioners along with Justice Singh on Tuesday voted against a recommendation by the APNU nominated Commissioners to have an external and neutral panel conduct the interviews.

She said the three APNU nominated Commissioners have shifted from the request to have an independent panel to now asking for neutral persons to be included on the interviewing panel of the Chair and six Commissioners.

“I don’t know where we will find neutral people. We can only pretend and it’s hypocrisy.

“Everybody takes a side,” she said.

Shadick reminded that it is the constitutional duty of the Commission to carry out this task, noting that it will not be delegated to anyone else.

“It is our duty… it is not an easy exercise to sit there and interview people but we have to do it,” she said.

Shadick could not say when the interviewing process will commence noting that the modalities are still being worked out.

Some 20 people, including three foreigners, applied for the CEO post with more than a dozen more applying for the deputy CEO post. Former CEO Gocool Boodoo has since withdrawn his application.

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

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