Process to select new GECOM Chairman still ongoing, says Harmon

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In the quest to find a new chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Minister of State Joseph Harmon earlier today at a Post Cabinet press briefing informed media operatives that the process is still ongoing.

Dr Steve Surujbally

According to Harmon, as per the process in accordance with Article 161 (2)of the Constitution of Guyana, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo was required to submit a list of six names to the President of Guyana, David Granger after consultations with various stakeholders. This, he disclosed was done and the President responded by requesting the CVs of each individual.

“It involves the President writing to the Leader of the Opposition, requiring him, after consultations to present to him a list of six persons who would satisfy the requirements of the Constitution. That, as far as I’m aware, was done…The President subsequently asked for the Curriculum Vitae of those persons and my understanding is that CVs have been sent to His Excellency,” the Minister explained.

Harmon further explained that the next step in this process would be for President Granger to respond as to whether the selection process of the new Chairman has been completed, or if more consultations would have to be done between him and Jagdeo.

Those persons nominated by the Opposition Leader are Executive Member of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Ramesh Dookhoo, former PSC Chairman and Army Chief Norman Mc Lean, Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram, writer Rhyaan Shah, Professor James Rose and human rights and conflict resolution consultant Lawrence Latchmansingh.

Jagdeo had justified his decision to nominate these individuals by highlighting that they [nominees] were identified following widespread consultations with civil society.

“I think they all are strong people and courageous people and people who have demonstrated that they are prepared to serve the country’s interest, not partisan interest, so that is my sense. I did not go into any great detail about their management styles or anything of that sort, but their names came forward from civil society,” he had said.

The former GECOM Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally, was scheduled to officially demit office on November 30, 2016 after 15 years of holding the post, but was asked by the President to hold on a bit longer. (Ramona Luthi) 

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