GECOM may ditch Benn for top post

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Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally.
Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally.

[www.inewsguyana.com]The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is reportedly sidestepping its longtime Deputy Chief Elections Officer Calvin Benn for the top post – Chief Elections Officer.

Sources close to the Commission indicate that Head of Logistics at GECOM and former GDF Officer, Keith Lowenfield is the favoured candidate. At moment, Benn is the Actiong CEO, while Lowenfield is the Deputy CEO.

Both Benn and Lowenfield were shortlisted from about dozen applicants for the critical position.

It is believed that Lowenfield’s GDF background will win him the support of the three opposition members of GECOM. APNU Leader David Granger is a retired Brigadier and Lowenfield was one of his junior officers. Benn’s management practices have come in for much scrutiny, the source added.

The position became vacant after GECOM did not renew the contract of Gocool Bodhoo.  The decision not to renew was controversial with Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally, who voted with the opposition for his removal from the Commission.

Reports indicate that the GECOM Chairman may side again with the Opposition in support of Lowenfield. Both the PPP/C and the APNU have not publicly commented on their choice for Chief Elections Officer.

The government and opposition have equal membership – three each – on the Commission.  The Chairman, who is the seventh person, has the casting vote in the event of a tie.

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