The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will be moving ahead with the process of recruiting personnel for key positions within the elections body in preparation for the March 2020 polling day.
This was revealed by Government-nominated GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander when he updated reporters on Tuesday’s more than three-hour-long meeting.
According to Alexander, the Commission has agreed to commence interviews for the posts of: Assistant Chief Elections Officer (ACEO), Civic and Voters’ Education Officer, Research Officer and Logistics Officer.
“So very soon we will be convening those panels for the interviews so we can conclude employment of those four officers,” he indicated.
Last week, it was revealed that almost one year after the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the coalition government, GECOM is only now scrambling to fill these key posts with only five months remaining before next year’s elections.
In fact, Commissioner Alexander had told reporters that the Admin Committee was reactivated to fill these vacancies.
Since the December 2018 passage of the NCM, which triggered early elections within three months, GECOM has come under heavy criticism for its failure to be in a state of readiness to hold General and Regional Elections.
In fact, in its ruling on the consolidated NCM cases, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) said that all constitutional actors, including GECOM, must abide by the provisions of the Constitution.
“The Court must assume that these bodies and personages will exercise their responsibilities with integrity and in keeping with the unambiguous provisions of the Constitution bearing in mind that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed as long ago as 21 December 2018,” the Trinidad-based regional court had stated.
But Alexander explained that the Elections Commission could not have done any work to fill these vacancies since it was without a Chairman for several weeks.
However, these vacancies were there since last year and GECOM was only without a Chair for about one month in July.
The CCJ had also ruled in June that the 2017 appointment of then GECOM Chair Retired Justice James Patterson was unconstitutional. This resulted in Justice Patterson’s resignation late June. After several weeks of meetings between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and their representatives, current Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh was appointed on July 26.