Discussions ongoing to appoint new Chief Elections Officer

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Discussions are ongoing at the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to appoint a new Chief Elections Officer (CEO).

The Commission conducted the interviews on Monday and met again on Tuesday but little was achieved on this front with another meeting set for Friday.

But before a decision can be made on the appointment, the interviewees were asked to submit physical copies of their academic and professional qualifications.

Guyanese Vishnu Persaud has already submitted his certificates to GECOM but the News Room understands that the Commission is awaiting the certificates of Jamaican Leslie Harrow.

The six Commissioners, three from the government and three from the Opposition, are expected to follow an established process of scoring the two men following the interviews.

Those scores, some of which remain outstanding, are expected to be submitted to the Chairman of GECOM, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh on Friday. It is anticipated in some circles that in the end, the decision might come down to a vote which would see the Chairman having to cast the tie-breaking vote.

While little is known locally of Harrow, 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.

GECOM is also shortlisting candidates for six other posts including a Deputy CEO and Assistant CEO. Interviews for those posts will follow shortly.

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