Ten names have been shortlisted from different entities for the selection of a new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
This is according to Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a conference with media operatives at his office in Church Street, Georgetown on Wednesday.
“We have just gotten about 10 names that we’ve shortlisted from different organizations that submitted names” Jagdeo said while noting that already, one person has declined.
“One of the 10 already said to me, no, I don’t want to be subjected to public humiliation,” he explained.
The Leader of the Opposition posited that over the course of the next few days, he will be engaging the shortlisted members’ one on one before making his final six selections for the third list to be submitted to the President of Guyana, David Granger. He could not give a definitive time period in which the submission will be made.
“I have to go through the process, meet, talk to them, some of them said to me that they need to talk to their families…I can’t tell them to give me an answer right away. It’s not a process that you can almost shortcut.”
He further explained that all of the nominees for this list will be fresh faces from the legal body as well as the “fit and proper” class.
The first list for the post of the GECOM Chairman was submitted by the Opposition Leader during the latter part of last year, and President Granger had rejected that list, as well as the second –which was submitted earlier this year- deeming them as “unacceptable” under his interpretation of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution and his criteria for selection.
The President had been quoted in the media saying that judges, retired judges, or someone eligible to be a judge will take preference over someone simply “fit and proper.”
After 15-years of being Chairman of GECOM, Dr Steve Surujbally, who falls under the classification of “fit and proprer”, has retired in February of this year, and since then the election body has been without a chairperson.