Commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission representing the Peoples Progressive Party is accusing the entity of racism in their employment practice.
The three Commissioners, Bibi Shadick, Robenson Benn and Sase Gunraj, made the statement during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
The genesis of the allegations stemmed from the commission not giving the Deputy Chief Elections Officer’s position to a person of Indian descent, even though he scored the highest during the interview, that person was former DCEO, Vishnu Persaud.
According to the Commissioners, the Chairman of Gecom, Rtd. Justice James Patterson intervened in the interview process and cast his vote when Mr. Persuad, a person of Indian origin, scored the highest. All other persons that were given jobs during that interview process were not persons of Indian origin, the Commissioners noted. The person who was selected for the position was, Roxanne Meyers, an Afro Guyanese, the Commissioners noted.
Bibi Shadick said that a complaint will be made to the Ethnic Relations Commission on the matter. She is further contending that Gecom is setting the stage for a certain result at the next elections.
The Commissioners are questioning the Chairman’s move to intervene and use his vote to select the second best and not the best for the position of DCEO. The current ethnic composition of the Gecom is 46% Afro-Guyanese, 21%, Indo-Guyanese, 20% Mixed Race, 45 Amerindians, 2 Portuguese and 1 Chinese.
The Chairman is reported as saying that Gecom hires its employees based on merits and not race, a contention the PPP Commissioners are strongly protesting.