Jun 25, 2020 Editorial
Clearly it is a well thought out and cunningly premediated exercise by Mr. Keith Lowenfield, Chief Elections Officer of GECOM.
He has traveled so far down a dark and dangerous road, that he has now entered a space that any sane citizen would consider criminal. In the latest chapter from the unfinished volume of the Lowenfield Report(s) delivered to the Guyana Elections Commission, the very resourceful CEO has created a jackass with a jamboree of numbers that would mean mandatory and lengthy jailing in any civilized and law-abiding society that observes reasonable norms and standards of democracy.
The newspaper headlines blared on Wednesday with the latest in this fantastical kneading of elections voting numbers. They furnished more than another example of the utter farces relative to matters in Guyana about elections and voting and manufacturing a winner. It is of the calculated capriciousness of man’s minds. Still, it is beyond that, because what Mr. Lowenfield hand delivered on Tuesday is tantamount to a felony. And by now, it ought to be obvious that the CEO is not acting alone, which was the same sordid story with one Mr. Mingo.
According to our headline, “Lowenfield discards 25% of valid votes to give Coalition win” (KN June 24). That is one of every four votes cast and, if there were any doubts before, those very meaningful expressions in Guyana’s should now return and register irreversibly and reinforce themselves chillingly in the minds of all citizens. The expressions are “disenfranchised” and the “will of the people” and “democracy.” When “25% of valid votes” (1 in 4) are nullified as having no bearing, then “disenfranchised” is no longer the abstraction of a figure of speech, it is hard reality articulated, documented, submitted, and last proven.
For this magical moment in Guyana’s electoral history, this nation owes its thanks to the CEO. In the next instance, 25%, or over 115,000 voters reduced to the ashes of nonexistence by the stroke of Mr. Lowenfield’s fertile mind are sure to consider cursing him only. A number of coalition agents had taken to the public to complain of and condemn phantom votes and voters. Now, on behalf of their party, the Chief Elections Officer has proved to be the biggest phantom of all. Mandrake the Magician must be green (an apt colour) with envy, which could be the same feeling harboured by all of our spiritualists, whether obeah practitioners, or Kali Mai pretenders, or from the assorted company of witch doctors and operators who deal with darkness and the dead.
The coalition had rallied against the presence of dead voters, as it should when such is the case. Now here is the nation’s top electoral professional manifesting that he is more dead than all the dead in this land. Dead towards what is conscientious. Dead to the fair art of counting honestly. Dead to the demands of fairness and the call of character that goes hand in hand with it.
In Guyana, for the eternity of many long decades, this is how the will of the people was trampled upon time and again. We talk loudly and proudly about regard for the law, yet we bow willingly, cravenly, and unconcernedly to the vulgar lawlessness that has long been the settled and accepted culture of this land. Our national elections stand as monuments to leadership deviousness, and to the related colluding personal and professional corruptions. In aggregate, this is what inevitably climaxes in the kind of handwork produced and delivered to GECOM on Tuesday. This is how democracy and its ideals are subverted forever and ever, it seems here.
We do not think that the CEO has handed over his last written electoral proclamation. Though the CCJ has granted a stay on GECOM’s declaration of a result, the belief is that CEO Lowenfield has other so-called “valid” recount reports to submit. In the nature of elections in Guyana, there is enough cleverness to ready for such contingencies, with more outlandish efforts. This elections business still has a way to go, and with overseers like Mr. Lowenfield, it could go anywhere chosen, which is part of the tragedy of this society.
In an effort to convey the sense of national outrage, foreign history is revisited. Officials from Florida, who were involved in the extremely close 2000 US presidential election presented the world with something called “hanging chads”. What was presented to GECOM on Tuesday amounted to no less than an arithmetical hanging of a quarter of Guyana’s voters. Those squeezed out voters can’t breathe, not when their aspirations and that of the overall collective will of the people are thwarted with such callous and cavalier contempt. In some jurisdictions, what was placed before GECOM would constitute a hanging offense, when democracy is suffocated like this with the vile placed on its neck.
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