Four employees of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), along with two senior members of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), have denied their involvement in conspiring to defraud electors during the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.
Former GECOM clerks Denise Bobb-Cummings and Michelle Miller, Elections Officer Shefern February and Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan, along with opposition members Volda Lawrence and Carol Smith-Joseph, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
During the hearing, the Chief Magistrate granted an application made by special prosecutor attorney-at-law Darshan Ramdhani, KC, for the charges against the defendants to be amended. The defendants were before the court on electoral fraud charges.
The amended charges read that the six defendants between March 2-August 2, 2020 conspired with former GECOM Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to defraud the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes cast.
The charges were read separately and the defendants pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, Miller was charged separately with another conspiracy charge.
Particulars of this charge alleged that Miller between March 3-5, 2020 at High and Hadfield Street, Georgetown, together and with others, with intent to defraud the people of Guyana, did not use the figures from the Statements of Polls for the purpose of ascertaining the figures to make the declaration of the results for the said District Four, thereby resulting in a false declaration being made for the said District. She pleaded not guilty.
Following the reading of the amended charges, the Chief Magistrate also ruled that the case will proceed with hearings at the Magistrates’ Court and not the High Court as requested by the defendant’s attorney.
The Chief Magistrate said that she sees no reason why the cases should be referred to the High Court since there were no constitutional breaches to the defendant’s rights
The case was adjourned until March 13, 2023 for reports.
Lowenfield is currently before the court with three counts of misconduct in public office and three counts of forgery while his former deputy Roxanne Myers is charged with two counts of misconduct in public office.
Mingo is currently charged with four counts of misconduct in public office.
They are all accused of inflating the results of Region Four – Guyana’s largest voting district – to give the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition a majority win at the March 2, 2020, polls when in fact, the PPP/C had won by 15,000 more votes.