I have never signed any Gecom contract in my capacity of Deputy Chief Election Officer and PRO

Dear Editor,

Kindly publish my response, as follows, with regard to an anonymous letter published by the Guyana Chronicle on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, under the caption ‘Will the Auditor General investigate the deputy chief elections officer?’

Editor, this letter is the second deliberate attempt aimed at besmirching my integrity, obviously with clandestine objectives.  And it brings to mind something that a former boss of mine had continuously repeated, ie a lie repeated often enough metamorphoses to become the truth.  This is the only reason that I have taken the decision to respond to this piece of mischief, lest the general populace internalize the contents of the letter to conclude that I have been involved in corrupt undertakings and that, somehow, I am being shielded and protected.

The motive behind this targeted aggression is anybody’s guess and leaves great room for speculation.

The forensic investigations that are currently being conducted by the Auditor General into allegations of fraud have nothing to do with me. Accordingly, I will not comment on this except to note that reference to it was made at the opening of the letter to create the platform to launch the mischief aimed at me.

I am not at all surprised at this letter because of reasons I need not mention here.  However, I find it astounding that the author(s) of the letter would attack the Auditor General in an attempt to dare him to launch an investigation into me relative to allegations that were published in the

Guyana Chronicle last year.  In so doing, the author(s) failed to recall that I had debunked those allegations via the said articles in the Guyana Chronicle. One year later – here we go again.

Specifically, the letter asked: “Why was Vishnu Persaud signing contracts and documents as deputy chief election officer and public relations officer?”, and whether I “was usurping the functions of the substantive PRO at the time…?”

In this regard, please note the following:-

* I have never signed any contract in my capacity of Deputy Chief Election Officer or Public Relations Officer.

* Documents prepared by me in my capacity of Deputy Chief Election Officer and Public Relations Officer for submission to Gecom personnel above me were required to be signed by me for obvious reasons.

* There was an instance in which I prepared the evaluation of quotations pertaining to Civic and Voter Education during the high activity period of preparations for the conduct of the 2015 General and Regional Elections.  This is an activity that I had been doing over the years as authorized by the commission.  In so doing, and in the interest of saving time, I had copied the format from the last evaluation I had done and made the required changes accordingly.  The evaluation was submitted to the CEO for approval with my designation unintentionally stated as Public Relations Officer, as it had been copied from the earlier evaluation.  The CEO brought this to my attention, and I requested that he return the document to me so that I could append the rubber stamp of the Deputy Chief Election Officer, sign above and return it.  This was done.  In retrospect, I admit that I should have printed a new page and signed thereon or at the least cancel my signature as PRO.

* I have never usurped, nor even encroached upon, the functions of the PRO in reference.

In view of the foregoing, I wish to state categorically that throughout my tenure at Gecom, which commenced in November 2001, I have never conducted myself in any way, shape or form that could have brought disrepute to myself or the commission.  On the contrary, I stand grounded in my conviction that I have always carried out my responsibilities with loyalty to the organization, and with consistent efficiency to the satisfaction of my superiors.

I therefore have no objection to availing myself to any investigation pertaining to any area of my conduct relative to official activities that were undertaken by me at Gecom.

As it relates to the use of quotes, I will close with the simple one that was taught to us by all of our grandparents:- ‘Do nothing – fear nothing’.

This is my only and last public position on this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Persaud

Deputy Chief Election Officer

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