Aug 06, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The High Court is scheduled to consider, among other things on Monday, a motion to terminate the contract of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield.
The termination of the contract is being proffered as part of the arguments in the case surrounding his removal from office following an amendment made to the motion for his dismissal presented by two of three of the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) appointed GECOM Commissioners, Bibi Shadick and Sase Gunraj. Kaieteur News understands the motion for dismissal was amended to include the termination of the contract on July 27 last and laid over to the Court on Wednesday.
This comes after Lowenfield was granted an interim injunction barring GECOM from discussing a motion for his dismissal. Last week, Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, granted the temporary order restraining GECOM from proceeding with the hearing of the notice of motion for dismissal based on the complaint by Commissioners Shadick and Gunraj, which is the subject of the court action until Monday August 9, when she is expected to deliver her ruling on the merits of the injunction application.
So far, GECOM’s attorney, Kim Kyte, who requested leave to file an application in response to the submission for injunctive relief is preparing to present a case for the amended motion, which includes the termination of the CEO’s contract instead of the case of the motion for his dismissal, which requires a fair hearing. Kaieteur News understands that with the amendment before it, the court will now have all the alternatives before it as it relates to Lowenfield’s termination of office. The publication was told that, granted the judge considers all the options for Lowenfield’s dismissal, the case will conclude at a more expeditious rate.
Last month Lowenfield, through his lawyer, Nigel Hughes, filed a motion seeking a declaration that he is entitled to the protection of the rules of natural justice and the right to a fair hearing and determination for the motion of his dismissal brought by Gunraj and seconded by Shadick.
Among other things, Lowenfield made an application for an order restraining the two named Government commissioners from participating as adjudicators in the hearing of the motion for his dismissal. He has requested a declaration that Gunraj and Shadick, cannot properly participate, hear and determine their own complaint against him, in the motion for his dismissal.
The CEO is seeking a declaration that GECOM, the named respondent in the matter, having determined that there shall be a hearing of the motion for his dismissal is bound to provide him with a fair hearing.
According to the grounds for his application, Lowenfield explained that since he is entitled to the rules of natural justice, to a fair hearing in keeping with the terms of his employment contract, the two named Government GECOM commissioners cannot participate in the deliberations of his dismissal since their participation would “infect the deliberations of the Commission with bias.”
Lowenfield along with other GECOM officials are currently before City Magistrates facing charges for electoral fraud. Those charges stemmed from a series of alleged grave violations by the GECOM workers connected to the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections and for their defiance of the instructions by the GECOM Chair, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, who instructed that the recount figures be used for the final results of the elections. In June, GECOM had decided to send Lowenfield and Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers, and Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, on leave.
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