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GECOM’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer quits

The Deputy Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Calvin Benn has decided to step down from the post he has held for the past 13 years, usually reliable sources confirmed on Tuesday.

Benn,58, is currently on three months vacation until  July 31, 2014.

Sources said he last week formally notified GECOM that he has decided to rescind his expression of interest in renewing his three-year contract.

Previously, Benn had pulled out of the race for the post of Chief Elections Officer (CEO), leaving the lone local applicant, Keith Lowenfield.

With Benn’s departure, sources said GECOM would have to decide whether to advertise the vacancy or appoint someone from inside or outside the elections management agency.

Usually reliable sources told Demerara Waves Online News that Benn has decided to step down from the post as a matter of caution to reduce physiological and mental stresses associated with the job. In recent times, he had been forced to take two weeks sick leave.

“Sometimes, one has to say enough is enough. He has aged significantly and the older you get, you must get away from stress,” said the source close to Benn.

Benn, who is the holder of a Masters Degree in Education, has been working in the field of elections since 1975. He was appointed Deputy Chief Elections Officer in 2001.

When Gocool Boodoo’s desire to continue as Chief Elections Officer was unfulfilled due to a decision by the seven member Commission, Lowenfield acted in that post until he was appointed substantively.