Last updated on Monday, 21 December 2020, 10:45 by Denis Chabrol
Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield remains on more than 100 days’ vacation for more than two months now, Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) spokesman Yolanda Ward said on Monday.
He made it clear that he had been on vacation long before misconduct in public office allegations was initiated against him by the State. “That concentration was there and he applied for that leave,” he told Radio-Guyana News-Talk 103.1 FM / Demerara Waves Online News.
Private criminal charges, initiated in July, were withdrawn and the State took over those investigations. in August.
A GECOM spokesman said he applied on September 1 for 146 days vacation starting Sept. 7 and ending Jan. 30, 2021
Ms. noted that Ward that a Public Service newsletter had been issued for employees to go on holiday and the Chief Returning Officer decided to do so as he had not had the opportunity to proceed on leave for a number of years.
The absence was approved by GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
Deputy Chief Returning Officer Roxanne Myers, who is also before the court on a charge related to alleged fraud at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, performs the duties of the Chief Returning Officer.
The Private Sector Commission at the weekend issued a call for those GECOM officers, who have been charged with election-related offenses, to be dismissed before the Local Government Elections are held. In response, Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, ridiculed that business organization, saying it should stop being the mouthpiece for the Civic administration of the People’s Progressive Party.