GECOM to shortlist CEO candidates

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Tuesday will be deciding on which of the 14 applicants for the post of Chief Election Officer will make the cut on the shortlist as the body seeks to replace  Gocool Boodoo.

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Dr Steve Surujbally on Monday said that 14 applications came in for the vacant position of Chief Election Officer (CEO). He said too that those applicants will soon be interviewed, prior to the shortlisting and selection of the successful candidate.

A source within GECOM said that two of the applicants are internal: one being Calvin Benn the acting CEO and the other being Assistant CEO Keith Lowenfield.

Of the persons that applied, three of them are resident overseas and of that three, two of them are Guyanese who settled overseas. This newspaper was told that one of them was involved in assisting in getting a US official elected to office.

“We have not yet shortlisted anyone,” said the source. “But it is possible that every one of the applicants is shortlisted provided they meet the basic criteria,” the source said. The Commission at its statutory Tuesday meeting will decide on the fate of the applicants to the position.

The final date for the submission of applications was September 30. According to the advertisement, the CEO will be responsible for preparing strategic plan, work programme, budgets and authorises relevant expenditure taking into consideration GECOM’s mission, its internal and external environments and the needs and priorities of the Commission. The person will also review departmental reports and performance audits; provide direction and advise on improvements and resolution of problems.

He or she will be responsible for managing the registration of electors, and the conduct of elections of members of the National Assembly, the Regional Democratic Councils and Local Government Authorities, and of all national or local referenda, in Guyana. He or she will also supervise and monitor the establishment of the National Register of Registrants from which a voter’s roll may be extracted, and the issue of National Identification Cards as appropriate.

GECOM put out the vacancy notice in August, following the non-renewal of Boodoo’s contract on July 16 largely for an error in his handling of the 2011 general election result. GECOM by majority decision voted not to renew how contract which had come to an end at the end of April 2013. While PPP-nominated commissioners voted to retain Boodoo, opposition-nominated commissioners voted not to renew Boodoo’s contract. Chairman of GECOM Dr Steve Surujbally cast the deciding vote against Boodoo breaking the deadlock.

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