GECOM to meet Monday after Lowenfield’s brazen rebellion
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is expected to meet on Monday to decide on what to do with the country’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, and the elections report he doctored in favour of the David Granger-led APNU+AFC Coalition.
Lowenfield, in a brazen rebellion of GECOM and its chair Justice Claudette Singh, Saturday presented an elections report that does not match figures from the national vote recount. The vote recount shows very clearly that the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) beat APNU+AFC by 15, 416 votes to form the new Government under Dr Irfaan Ali.
Lowenfield submitted his report just outside of the 11 a.m. deadline he was given but the Commission could not meet because the three APNU+AFC Commissioners did not show up.
Without their presence, there could be no quorum for the meeting to go ahead. However, the Constitution says that GECOM can call a meeting two days later and the meeting can go ahead with the Chair and three Commissioners.
There have been multiple calls for GECOM to remove those who are bent on defying the electoral process, with clear calls for Lowenfield to be fired.
Lowenfield is considered an elections officer and is subject to the direction of the Commission. The Chair of the Commission had directed him to present a report reflecting the results of the national vote recount but instead he used figures from a previous report which reflect the declaration from District Four that was dismissed to be fraudulent.
In presenting his report which did not reflect the direction he was given, Lowenfield sought to suggest the chair of the Commission is bound to act on his advice.
“It is my understanding that Article 177 (2) of the Constitution affords the technical officer the right to advise the Chairman of the elections result that ought to be declared,” Lowenfield stated in presenting his report.
Several political parties have called for Lowenfield to be fired if he failed to present a report as directed.
The Organisation of American States (OAS), which includes the United States and Canada, had pointed to the fact that “efforts continue to avoid compliance with these obligations and to further prolong the term of the current government.”
The OAS said it notes that one of the principal obstacles to completing Guyana’s current electoral process is a person whose duty it is to defend Guyana’s democracy through ensuring respect for the results of elections.
The OAS had earlier suggested that GECOM should exclude from the current electoral process, and indeed from all future electoral processes, those persons whose actions display clear partisan bias, and who apply this bias unreservedly in hindering the natural unfolding of the democratic process in Guyana.
The New Movement, one of the new parties which, together with two others, have won a seat in the new Parliament, said Lowenfield’s actions have held an entire nation at ransom and snatched the people’s democratic freedom.
“We will reiterate that we firmly believe GECOM needs to act and take stern steps to curb his malicious actions by simply discharging him of his duties,” the party stated.