Motions to remove Lowenfield, others now amended as discussions further delayed
The three motions calling for the removal of the key figures within the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have now been amended.
The amendments were presented at a meeting earlier on Tuesday by the three government nominated Commissioners and accepted by GECOM’s Chairman Justice (retired) Claudette Singh.
Tuesday’s meeting was intended to advance the discussions on dismissing the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, his Deputy Roxanne Myers and the District 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, all of whom are currently before the Magistrates’ Court on charges related to electoral fraud.
According to Commissioner Bibi Shadick, the amendments to the motions were presented after herself and colleague commissioners Sase Gunraj and Manoj Narayan were provided with copies of the contracts for the trio.
It predates an upcoming preliminary court hearing on Thursday on an Application filed by Lowenfield to block the move to have him dismissed and bar Gunraj and Shadick from participating in those discussions.
“We moved to amend the motions to put in an alternative to what we asked for to say if the Commission does not agree to dismiss these persons they can terminate the contract as per the terms of the contract… that is giving notice and payment in lieu of the notice,” Shadick said.
She said despite continued efforts to block the discussions by the opposition nominated commissioners, the acceptance of the amendments could be considered progress on the issue.
“At least we have moved a step further,” she added.
The Commissioner explained that the meeting which started at 13:00 ended within an hour because Gunraj and Narayan were in St. Lucia and had to attend another urgent meeting.
Their exit disrupted the quorum that existed forcing an adjournment to the meeting with no date for a next meeting immediately set.
“The opposition commissioners were still trying to delay and make sure we didn’t have any discussion prior to Thursday when the court will hear application by Lowenfield to bar Gunraj and myself from the discussion,” Shadick added.
On the last occasion and despite previous delays, the discussion on the removal of the three officials was delayed because commissioners Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman had exited the meeting.
On June 1, 2021, a motion to immediately dismiss the embattled Chief Elections Officer was moved by Gunraj, while Shadick moved another motion to remove his Deputy.
The third motion, moved by Commissioner Narayan seeks the immediate dismissal of Mingo.
With the current makeup of the Commission, the success of these motions now rely essentially on the vote of the GECOM Chairman.
The motions were filed more than a year after the three, along with others, have been accused of attempts to thwart the results of the March 02, 2020, regional and general elections.