– cites 12 reasons why in letter sent to GECOM Chair
The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) has written to the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d), Claudette Singh, requesting the immediate dismissal of Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield.
The letter cited 12 occasions where the CEO conducted himself in a manner that demonstrated no respect for the will of the electorate.
In the letter penned by Presidential Candidate and leader of the party, Lennox Shuman, he stated “Over the last four (4) months, Mr. Lowenfield has conducted himself in a manner that does not command the confidence of the public and continues to demonstrate no degree of respect for the electorate, the Guyanese people nor the structures and institutions that were meant to protect and safeguard the will of the people.”
“That the CEO,” they stated, “clearly demonstrates a bias, we are resolute in our view that the CEO, Mr. Keith Lowenfield, has completely and absolutely lost the confidence of the Guyanese electorate, and we believe the above as laid out provide undisputable grounds for Mr. Lowenfield’s immediate removal/termination from his post as CEO and for his expeditious replacement with a candidate more amicable to the terms and operations of law abiding statutory officers in democratic institutions.”
Making his argument, Shuman listed the various acts of the CEO that “contributed to the complete and absolute loss of confidence in him.”
The party accused Lowenfield of “Gross negligence with regards to the safeguarding of elections documents”; the very documents used as the basis of fraud allegations by the incumbent Coalition.
During the National Recount, the Coalition had demanded that GECOM discard 29 ballot boxes, threatening more than 7,000 votes cast by electors from the East Coast of Demerara. Critical statutory documents such as the counterfoils, Official List of Electors (OLE), poll books, folios, spoilt ballots, damaged ballots, and proxies were found to be missing upon examination of the boxes during the recount.
It was later reported that instructions were handed down to the Deputy Returning Officers and Presiding Officers at varying polling stations on the East Coast to exclude those documents from the ballot boxes; a directive passed by Lowenfield’s clerk, Carlyn Duncan.
That incident led to the LJP’s second accusation that Lowenfield “Failed to provide clear written instructions to the Presiding Officers on Polling Day with regards to safeguarding documents and which documents to seal within the poll boxes” along with “Deliberately declining to disclose the Statement of Polls (SOP’s) to the Commission, the Parties, the Court and the Public.”
The LJP also noted that Lowenfield knowingly providing an elections report on March 5 “based on and containing false, inaccurate and fraudulent information declared by Region Four, Returning Officer, Mr. Clairmont Mingo.”
Additionally, the party in their letter to the Chair accused the CEO of “Lack of Impartiality and demonstrating an APNU bias and his attempt at invalidating votes “After the Statements of Recount and Official Certificates of Tabulation for the 10 Administrative Regions have been issued.”
They also pointed to Lowenfield’s most recent final elections report, and stated that he “Willfully attempted to disenfranchise 115,000+ voters by wanting to invalidate said number of votes, exercising authority that is not vested in him and beyond his remit in interpreting the Appeal’s Court Ruling and acting contrary to said court orders.”
Further, Lowenfield, they pointed out “Provided a report of the March 2, 2020 Elections recount contrary to the directions of the Commission” and displayed “Gross insubordination, acting contrary to the directions of the Chairwoman and the Commission.”
The CEO, they noted, is also facing three separate criminal High Court charges for electoral fraud and also obstructed officers of the court from service and their duties by evading lawful service of court documents and showed complete disregard for same.
To close, the party asked that the commission revisit the actions of the CEO up to this point of the electoral process, and “act in accordance with the will of the people that have been reaffirmed through the recount process of the 2nd March, 2020 Elections.”
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