Surujbally fires back – says ethnic hiring comments could cause ‘societal divisiveness’


In light of recent comments made by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee who accused the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of hiring the majority of its polling day staff from one particular ethnic group, Chairman of the elections body Dr Steve Surujbally has stated that comments such as these can create “cleavages” in society.

CaptureDr Surujbally was at the time addressing the closing ceremony of a two-day training session for media operatives on Local Government Elections (LGE) on Sunday.

Last week, Rohee raised concerns about a distinct “ethnic imbalance” in the staff component at the country’s electoral institution and called on the diplomatic community to pay keen attention to the series of activities occurring on the lead-up to the March 18 LGE Day. The General Secretary had further pointed out that such imbalance is one of the tools being used to alter the results of the elections in a particular direction.

However, in responding to these comments, Dr Surujbally, pointed out that if this was indeed the case then it would mean that the elections body has lapsed and is bias, which he said, is not the case.

He said when persons make statements such as GECOM has hired or that its staff is 95 per cent of a particular ethnic group and the media reports it without investigating or verifying to see whether is it true, then it could cause societal divisiveness.

Dr Surujbally noted that the media as well as politicians should do their part in not only building a cohesive society, but should show the same attitude of togetherness in the thrust towards developing Guyana.

The Chairman stressed that the media in particular need to use its resources to convince the citizenry that they are one. “The motto said so – we are one and we cannot allow anybody to create a cleavage. It is more than a cleavage when you are saying that a large percentage of GECOM staff is a net of one ethnic group. What you’re saying is that that majority ethnic group that is within GECOM cannot in fact carry out a neutral position, have a neutral position and carry out with transparency a great election. Now that’s damning to that one ethnic group, how can you accept that,” he questioned.




  1. Guyanese Indians typically do not like the uniformed services (especially the army) yet people have raised all sorts of nancy stories about Indian men being kept out because of the minimum chest dimensions required and other such garbage.Anybody with a pair of eyes in their head will know that Guyanese Indian and African men men have about the same average size. My impression is that the guys of European extract (Portuguese and Anglo) are on average somewhat bigger. The Amerindians and Chinese are the little guys. Racists will hold on to anything to support their racist machinations.

    The PPP did not complain about the ethnic make up of the Gecom work force when they were winning but now we hear about selection tests that are tailor made to keep Indians out. Even if the bulk of the Gecom employees are black does this mean that they are there to rig the elections in favour of APNU/AFC?

    To make a long story short Surujbally may have to publish samples of the selection tests so that the public can judge for themselves whether there is anything in there to keep any ethnic group out. But I guess the blackish guy will then claim that there is a mandatory requirement that twenty marks be deducted from everyone with a certain type of name. After all his learned blackish offspring did write on Facebook about a particular ethnic group’s ‘dutty mentality’.

    If any particular ethnic group is having difficulty being accepted to work with Gecom it is an indictment of how the education system was managed over the past two decades. I am forced to conclude that in spite of all of their grandstanding the PPP are feeling insecure about facing the electorate again.

  2. I am in agreement with all of the bloggers, most East Indians and other races were not selected in the hiring process, even though they all did well at the training session.

  3. Mr Surujbully, one does not have to do any research or survey to find out the ethnic composition of polling day staff. Going around different polling stations on elections, one has to be colour blind not to notice the composition of polling staff at these polling stations. And not only the staff in general. Most of the returning officers, the ones with the real power, are of African background. This has been an historical injustice. It is no secret that racial voting pattern is a dominant factor during the election period. No wonder the vast majority of the electorate has no confidence in the election machinery. The history of election rigging in Guyana cannot be brushed aside.

  4. Surujbally should provide the ethic breakdown of GECOM. His answer is a justification of racism in the hiring process at GECOM.

  5. Dr Surujballi, you old fool, do you even believe what you’re saying? Togetherness only comes when everyone feels they are progressing together . How can others feel so when the great majority of GECOM staff is of a particular ethnicity regardless of which ethnicity it is ? Your words and actions don’t inspire any confidence and trust on you.

  6. Steve, there is already societal divisiveness created by this APNU/AFC Regime. But where you could make corrections to prevent this to go further, don’t hesitate do it. Listen to the main Opposition Party which commands the majority support now. The world is watching you.

  7. This is the TRUTH. Surujbally open up your eyes. Guyana has a majority East Indian population however when one looks at the makeup human resources capacity that GECOM hires it us predominantly Afro-Guyanese therefore the populace is not represented fairly. Surujbally should ensure all are represented fairly.

  8. Surujbally fires back – says ethnic hiring comments could cause ‘societal divisiveness’…
    What ethnic group was PPP Rohee hiring as police and army?
    And more for PPP… Can you hire East Indians to be in PNC villages to ensure free and fair elections?
    Can you send those you hired as police and army to protect them?
    This is why most Guyanese now believe that once PNC rig you out of office there will be no more PPP rule period.
    Yall eyes pass yall supporters in not hiring special forces to deal with PNC and their thugs..


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