Guyanese Vishnu Persaud & Jamaican Leslie Harrow to be interviewed for CEO post


After rounds of meetings, the former Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Vishnu Persaud and a former Elections Officer of Jamaica, Leslie Harrow have made the final cut and will be interviewed by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday for the position of Chief Elections Officer (CEO).

Previously, the News Room reported that three locals – Vishnu Persaud, Aneal Giddings and Deodat Persaud – along with three foreigners – Eugene Petty, Kurt Clarke and Leslie Harrow – have been shortlisted to go forward to the interview round.

On Wednesday, however, after a meeting of the Commission, it was finally decided that Persaud and Harrow will be the two candidates interviewed for this top job. Both the PPP/C and APNU nominated GECOM Commissioners will now have to sit with Justice Singh to conduct the interviews to select one person to become the country’s next CEO.

On Wednesday, PPP/C nominated Commissioner Bibi Shadick told the News Room the controversy surrounding this selection process has continued.

“They (the APNU nominated commissioners) were trying to discredit Vishnu Persaud but at the end of the day, that was a majority decision,” she stated.

Now that these two candidates have been identified for the interview on Monday, Shadick was asked if she believed that the candidates would be fairly interviewed. She, however, did not think there would be that openness.

“I know they are going to ask him some questions hoping they will embarrass him.

“…there is so much acrimony when they are discussing these things and who they don’t want, they are trying to bad talk (them),” Shadick said via telephone interview.

The News Room understands that Persaud was included as one of the two candidates to be interviewed after GECOM Chairman Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh agreed with the three PPP/C nominated commissioners that he should be considered.

Persaud was first appointed at GECOM on November 2, 2001, to the post of Public Relations Officer and functioned as the Personal Assistant to then GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally.

He was appointed the Deputy Chief Elections Officer on August 13, 2014, for a period of three years. His contract was not renewed and the post was later advertised. Persaud applied and was interviewed for the position and scored 76 points, well ahead of Roxanne Myers who was subsequently appointed.

Now, having applied for the CEO post, Persaud again seems to be a front runner, being the only candidate to possess the required qualification and experience.

Meanwhile, Shadick also highlighted that by Wednesday night, the commission should receive the curriculum vitae (CV) of the four candidates shortlisted for the position of Deputy CEO.

The candidates are Melanie Marshall, Neil Bacchus, Mohamed Arjoon and Deodat Persaud. On Thursday, the commission is expected to meet again to further reduce the candidates for Deputy CEO and Assistant CEO, before tackling the other outstanding senior positions.

“We wanted to have positions filled, so there is no use doing all the shortlists before you begin the interviews,” Shadick said.

For the Legal Officer, those shortlisted are Shareefa Parks, Kurt DaSilva, Kimberley Yearwood and Felicia Toby.

For the Assistant Chief Elections Officer (ACEO), those shortlisted 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.

For Chief Accountant, those shortlisted are Jaiwattie Singh, Abeossa Simon, Orlando Small, Victor Arjune and Ronald Charles.

The other posts are Civic and Voter Education Manager for which 17 persons have been shortlisted and Logistics Manager for which 24 persons have been shortlisted.

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