Opposition compiling list of persons to replace GECOM chairman
The People’s Progressive Party Civic has already begun compiling a list of potential persons to replace Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally, who is expected to resign soon.
This was made known by the leader of the opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo at his party’s press conference on Wednesday. According to the former president, “Yes, Mr. Surujbally is leaving and according to the constitution, I have to submit a list of six names from which the president will choose the next head of GECOM.” He added, “We have started looking at the names of the people that we will submit to replace Mr. Surujbally.” Jagdeo said that he expected that since Surjubally had signalled months ago that he will be departing, that President David Granger would have initiated the process which would trigger the requisite constitutional provision to replace the chairman. He said that this should have already been done, given the necessity of having a fully staffed commission at all points in time. “The work of the commission is critical in the preparation for the next elections. So I have not received any indication from the President when he intends to trigger that provision.” Jagdeo said that the slothfulness of the government is very worrying to him and his party given the sensitivity surrounding GECOM. He said that he is suspicious that there may be a lengthy delay in the entire process. He said that he has asked the PPP/C’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira to write on his behalf to the Office of the President and the Head of the Presidential Secretariat to point out this issue and enquire as to when the President intends to trigger the movement. In September, General Secretary of the PPP/C Clement Rohee had announced that the party was informed of Surujbally’s pending resignation. He had said that the urgency for the Chairman to demit office was addressed at a Central Executive Committee meeting citing allegations which surfaced that the elections body was unable to discharge its functions. According to Rohee, the GECOM chairman had already met with the President and the Leader of the Opposition to discuss the necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth transition. The Chairman had said in the media that his resignation should not come as a surprise since his resignation was pending since 2006 when the PPP/C won elections. According to Surujbally his resignation will happen during a seamless transition.