Lowenfield instructed to submit report by 2pm tomorrow using recount figures
Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield on Thursday received written instructions from the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) former judge Claudette Singh, to submit his report by 2pm on Friday and reminded him that he is subject to the control and direction of the Commission .
Singh was specific in instructing Lowenfield that his report must reflect “valid votes counted in the national recount as per Certificate of Recount generated therefrom.”
The valid votes that the Chairman refers to are the votes which were counted during the recount and certified by GECOM staff and all the political parties that contested the elections and participated in the recount.
Singh in her letter reminded Lowenfield that Section 18 of the Elections Laws Act No. 15 of 2000 stipulates that he is subject to the direction and control of the Commission.
“In accordance with this section and pursuant to article 177 (2) (B) of the Constitution and section 96 of the Representation of the people’s Act Cap 1:03 you are hereby requested to prepare and submit your report on the March 02, 2020 general and regional elections,” the letter stated.
This is not the first time that Lowenfield has been asked to submit a report using the recount figures.
He disobeyed the Chair’s instruction on the last occasion and presented a botched report where he invalidated over 115,000 votes to hand the incumbent APNU+AFC coalition a majority parliamentary victory even though the certified figures show the main opposition People’s Progressive Party winning the elections by over 15,000 votes.
Lowenfield in the June 23 report said he was relying on the Court of Appeal ruling of June 22 which amounts to an interpretation that ‘more votes’ means ‘more valid votes.”
The Caribbean Court of Justice in a ruling on Wednesday set aside the Court of Appeal decision and in so doing also set aside Lowenfield’s June 23 report.
Lowenfield has not acted on the CCJ ruling with the same haste that he did when the Court of Appeal ruled.
A meeting of the Commission to discuss the ruling had to be postponed earlier on Thursday because of the failure of the government nominated Commissioners to show up.
They told the Chair that they needed time to study the ruling of the CCJ. That meeting is expected to go ahead tomorrow and with Lowenfield’s report it will pave the way for the declaration of the results.
That declaration should show that the PPP has won the election and will form a majority parliamentary government with Irfaan Ali as President.