Hold inquiry into GECOM employment practices

Dear Editor,

The Indian Action Committee (IAC), having followed the recent developments at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), calls for an immediate investigation primarily through a Commission of Inquiry (COI).

The IAC is of the firm belief that given what has been made public regarding the issue and the uncertainty which continues to prevail over what is factual, the circumstances demand that level of intervention. Further, it becomes compelling given the national sensitivities involved and the impact it could have on the credibility of GECOM and the national election machinery.

In the interest of national harmony and confidence in the electoral process, the IAC urges the Head of State, David Granger, to not delay the commissioning of an independent COI into the employment practice at GECOM. The focus must be on the revelation of facts about whether the integrity of the process has been deliberately compromised to give an unfair advantage to those perceived to be in allegiance with the government as alleged.

The COI, through its findings, must also thoroughly explain why Mr. Vishnu Persaud, who reportedly scored the highest in the evaluation process and who has some three years on-the-job experience, was deliberately overlooked for the position of Deputy Chief Election Officer (DCEO), which he held, by someone who scored lower and has no related job experience.

The IAC is also mindful of information in the public domain which alleges that the composition of the senior staff at GECOM reflects only one ethnic group and an allegation that applicants of Indo-Guyanese extraction were deliberately scored low in the evaluation process.

While the IAC believes that meritocracy must be foremost, it finds it difficult to accept that persons from other ethnicities could not have been found to be competent. If true, the impact of this on other groups, including Indo-Guyanese, would be devastating, disrespectful and clearly, a calculative ploy to not only deprive them of their rights for employment but a strong signal that they do not belong within the confines of this important national institution.

Yours faithfully,

Saira Alli

Secretary/Coordinator

Indian Action Committee

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