No basis for Jagdeo to conclude GECOM Chairman has been biased

Dear Editor,

In a previous letter I indicated that in 2013, on the eve of GECOM`s consideration of Mr. Gocool Boodoo`s application for a renewal of contract, the PPP started a campaign accusing the “PNC” commissioners of ridding GECOM of Indo-Guyanese. On that occasion, I responded with the evidence that the Indo-Guyanese, whose contracts had not been renewed, were victims of Boodoo`s initiatives. Boodoo was the one who initiated, and insisted on, the non-renewal of their contracts. What the PPP was doing then was creating the atmosphere for the reappointment of Boodoo, who sought in 2011 to allocate an AFC seat to the PPP as he had done in 2006. In 2006 he went “scot free” and in 2011 they were endeavouring to let him off the hook once again.

The relevance of restating this is that in 2018 the PPP is attempting the same ruse: play the racial card and have Vishnu Persaud appointed as Deputy Chief Election Officer. That ruse having failed, once again, the Leader of the Opposition is spewing his racial venom at the so-called “PNC commissioners”. As a commissioner with institutional memory, who has exposed the PPP`s campaign for what it is worth, I was at the centre of Jagdeo`s attack, at his Thursday`s press conference. He leveled a number of accusations, which I will respond to here:

 1. He accused the so-called “PNC commissioners” of scoring Indo-Guyanese low and Afro-Guyanese high, to wit 100%, in an attempt to deny Indo-Guyanese employment at GECOM. Let it be known that I never scored anyone 100% or 0% and that in the interviewing process, the first person to have awarded someone 100% was Commissioner Shadick, Jagdeo`s nominee. Jagdeo is therefore in one swipe lying and indulging in double standards.

 2. He accused me of ulterior motives in regard to my disclosures on Vishnu Persaud. On that matter I stand by my word and hereby restate emphatically that Vishnu Persaud`s candidacy was opposed by me on the grounds that the other candidate is superior, in addition to the fact that Vishnu was appointed as the PRO of GECOM when he was not qualified for the job. He was elevated to DCEO on the pretence of being the holder of a first degree, here again, he was appointed in a position for which he was not qualified. He himself, in the presence of the entire interviewing panel, admitted that he was not the holder of a first degree or its equivalent. That alone should have made him ineligible.

3. He contended that both candidates are holders of a Master`s degree, however Vishnu`s Master`s degree cannot be compared with that of his competitor. He has a ‘D’ average while his competitor has a ‘B+’ average.

Jadgeo further accused GECOM of procedural breach by not appointing the person with the highest score. Apart from the highest score being contrived and dubious, the procedure has always provided for the Commission to make the final determination, especially in the instance where there is a hung result (a tie) at the level of the interviewing panel. Only a few weeks ago, for the position of legal officer, there was a hung decision of the interviewing panel, which resulted in the matter being determined by the full Commission. In that instance, the Chairman`s decisive vote coincided with the votes of the PPP commissioners and the candidate with the highest score was not offered the job. It should be noted that the affected candidate was an African-Guyanese.

There is therefore no basis on which to conclude that the Chairman has been biased.

What we are faced with is the ruse of Jagdeo to have his way even if it means using ethnicity and lies as his trump cards.

I challenge Jagdeo to a face-off on the facts. 

Yours faithfully,

Vincent Alexander

GECOM Commissioner

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