GECOM must adopt measures to ensure employment of credible persons

Dear Editor,
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), has publicised vacant positions after the firing and conundrum regarding fraudulent elections activities and charges involving key employed officials in its Secretariat. The necessary employment of new staff members to replace the wicked and highly questionable characters must be undertaken in a manner that reflects transparency and realizes the most efficient results. Certainly, we cannot re-create the wheel by allowing impropriety, and the absolute due diligence approach must be exercised.
The Commission’s decision to undertake measures of cross-matching is appreciated. That is, to look at the applications against the required qualifications and experience while considering the trust and integrity of the applicants. Notwithstanding, there are concerns regarding the shortlisting of some persons whose records in previous elections leave much to be desired.
Some of the positions published in the preliminaary shortlist of applicants, however, are quite alarming
Given the absence of an elections report from the CEO, the commission and new CEO should carefully review the activities that took place over the five months after the Elections including the massive spending and illegal activities that went on during the five months after March 02, 2020.
It is essential for GECOM to swiftly ensure it has onboard, a cadre of transparently selected professionals to advance its mandate. The advertising process for filling vacancies created by the recent firings of the Chief Elections Officers (CEO) and others facing fraudulent electoral charges, commenced in October 2021. Publications of those shortlisted for final interviews and potential selection present the opportunity for exposure if there are known issues. Notably, some rogue elements have been able to get past the initial screening process.
GECOM facilitation of the next LGEs is way overdue, and this is not for want of the PPP/C’s urging and support. The Government ensured that sufficient funding was placed in the 2021 budget for the holding of these Elections. The Elections were not held as a consequence of GECOM’s inability to hold the same. Now, all systems must be put in place to fill all existing vacancies, but this must be defined by the presence of appropriate counterchecks and balances.
The way forward for GECOM must be to win the trust and confidence of the nation by holding free and fair elections. This can only be achieved with a process to select the staff from unstained men and women of integrity. The organization must therefore not buy batteries and torches to avoid footholds that can be avoided upfront.

Neil Kumar