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Ethnicity must not be a factor to disparage Guyanese workers; independent review of GECOM proposed

The Indian Action (formerly Arrival) Committee (IAC) has noted with grave concern the recent public statements regarding what has been described as ‘ethnic employment’ at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Being cognizant of the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) position on the issue, the IAC is firm in its belief that ethnicity must not be a factor to bring into any form of disrepute the execution of assigned duties by Guyanese.

The IAC believes that in a multiethnic society like Guyana, for an organization to derive a sense of confidence based upon the employment of a particular and preferred ethnic group, is counterproductive to the efforts of unification and the country’s national motto. The IAC deems the utterances as most unfortunate.

The IAC believes that while the Party has a right to be concerned over issues, including those relating to GECOM, it urges cognizance of the sensitivities of ethnic-related aspersions and the precipitating challenges it pose to national cohesion.

The IAC is of the view that the Party’s concern should not be dismissed. In this regard it proposes an external independent review of GECOM which should be conducted to ascertain the validity of the Party’s claims of preferred and disadvantageous ethnic employment against it.

The IAC believes that if such an endeavor is professionally undertaken, it would aid in the allaying of fear with respect to the Party’s concern and could vindicate GECOM”s position. With regards to the latter, it would reinforce that Guyanese, regardless of their ethnicity, could deliver their duties professionally and without favour or ill will.

Given what appeared in the public domain regarding the issue in question, the IAC believes it further underscores the need for the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) to be immediately established. The IAC reiterates its necessity and believes it is integral to meaningful interventions for the mitigation of such sensitive issues and to prevent any related escalation.

The IAC is aware that Parliamentarians within the 10th Parliament worked tirelessly to implement a democratic process for the election of the members to represent the various groups from civil society to the ERC. Unfortunately, those members having been approved by the National Assembly, were not provided the opportunity to be sworn in as Commissioners.

The IAC therefore calls for those members of the ERC who should have been sworn in prior to the May 11 general elections, be so empowered immediately thereby resuscitating this constitutional Commission, whose role cannot be overstated, especially with the current issue at hand.


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