GECOM’s CEO says PSC misguided, should not question his professionalism

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Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield says Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Gerry Gouveia is “misguided” and should not have attempted to question his professionalism in the execution of his duties as Commissioner of Registration and CEO.

The PSC in a stinging letter to the CEO at the weekend, called for GECOM to suspend the ongoing House-to-House registration until a new Chairperson is named but Mr Lowenfield Monday made it clear that the House to House registration will continue until GECOM is directed otherwise by a duly constituted commission.

Gouveia had noted in the PSC statement that based on legal advice sought, GECOM cannot legally undertake this exercise without a Chairman in place.

Chairman of the PSC, Gerry Gouveia

But according to Mr Lowenfield, GECOM’s Legal Officer, Excellence Dazzel advised that in light of the CCJ ruling on June 18, 2019, which stated that the process by which the Chairman was appointed was flawed, every act done by that Chairman after June 18 would be void, however, acts done before the June 18 ruling would be valid since those acts would have been done on the premise that the appointment was bona fide.

Former Chair of GECOM, Justice (Rt’d) James Patterson signed the order to commence the registration exercise on June 11.

“The GECOM Secretariat clearly understands the constitutional requirements and also the legal premise to operationalize a valid order,” Mr Lowenfield noted.

The CEO denied claims that the GECOM did not include the political opposition in the process.

“At a meeting held on 2nd May 2019 with political party stakeholders, the delegation representing the People’s Progressive Party headed by Mr Zulfikar Mustapha explicitly stated that they will not be participating in any deliberation on House-to-House Registration since they are not in agreement with the exercise and ‘walked out’. How then can you question my consultative approach and the credibility of the exercise?”

Meanwhile, the CEO also denied that the PSC requested to meet with him several times.

“It is appalling that in your opening paragraph, you sought to create an impression that I, Keith Lowenfiled have been avoiding meetings with the PSC. I have never received any such request for meetings. I have noted that all previous requests for meetings were directed to the Chairman of the Commission.”

See the CEO’s full response in the images below:

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