Opposition submits names for new GECOM Chairman

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The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Wednesday submitted names of nominees for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), which will be left vacant following the retirement of Dr Steve Surujbally before the year comes to an end.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP/C MP Anil Nandlall at a media briefing on Wednesday
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP/C MP Anil Nandlall at a media briefing on Wednesday

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday released the names of the six nominees whom he said were submitted to President David Granger after consultations with a wide cross-section of civil society organisations, religious organisations, private sector and labour unions.
The nominees include Lawrence Latchmansingh, Ramesh Dookhoo, Norman Mc Lean, Christopher Ram, Rhyaan Shaw and Professor James Rose. Jagdeo said a significant number of the nominees were taken from the list proposed by civil society.gecomJagdeo at a media briefing on Wednesday said that all of the nominees have demonstrated character traits of persons of integrity.
“I think they all are strong people and courageous people and people who have demonstrated that they are prepared to serve the country’s interest, not partisan interest so that is my sense. I did not go into any great detail about their management styles or anything of that sort but their names came forward from civil society, reviewed these names, thought that they had some character traits that are necessary…,” he said.
“We believe that all these people have the requisite quality to be a good chairperson of GECOM,” Jagdeo said.
Government last month had said that it was soon commencing the consideration of a new Chairman.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon said President David Granger has already received notices from the parliamentary Opposition that it was ready to commence the consideration and selection of a new Chairman of the election body.
Once there is no objection to the names, the Head of State will move ahead with the selection process. Dr Surujbally last month indicated his intentions to demit office before the end of the year.
The GECOM Chair already wrote to Government about his desire to resign and had recommended a raft of measures of reform. He had told the media that he has been expressing his desire to demit office since 2006. He has been at the helm of the Elections Commission since 2001. The PPP/Civic has repeatedly called for the resignation of Surujbally in wake of their strong belief that he supervised a rigged electoral process in the 2015 Regional and General Elections.