– Lowenfield proceeded on accrued leave; to return on January 30, 2021
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, who faces the courts on numerous electoral fraud charges, is currently on his accrued annual leave.
This was explained by the GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward confirmed that the senior officer had been on holiday since September 7. He explained that the CEO had applied for the time off work and had been granted leave.
In a subsequent statement from GECOM, it was explained that the CEO had applied on September 1 for his 2016 – 2019 cumulative annual leave, totaling 146 days. The leave ends on January 30. Meanwhile, Deputy CEO Roxanne Myers, who is also before the courts on electoral fraud charges, is discharging his duties.
Following the controversial March 2 General and Regional elections and the five-month process that followed, Lowenfield and a number of other high-ranking GECOM officers investigated and charged police with misconduct in public office and forgery. In addition to Lowenfield and Myers, incumbent Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo is also before the courts on electoral fraud charges.
Lowenfield had made a final report to the retired GECOM Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh, who inadvertently dropped over 115,000 votes, when a 33-day national recount had certified those votes to be valid.
In the Lowenfield report, the CEO had claimed that the National Unity Partnership / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) coalition had collected 171,825 votes while the PPP / C had gained 166,343 votes. How the CEO arrived at those figures is not known, as the certified results of the recount exercise legally conducted under the supervision of GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) far demonstrate that the PPP / C won with 233,336 votes while the APNU / AFC garnered 217,920.
Lowenfield’s attempt to change the results of the results and deny the will of the people comes on the heels of two previous attempts he made to legitimize Mingo’s fraudulent statements.
Mingo, during the ballot tables following the March 2 elections, used heavily inflated figures in favor of the APNU / AFC coalition – quite different from the official numbers recorded on the Voting Statements (SoP).
On March 5, Mingo announced fraudulent results for Class Four, prompting the PPP / C to move to the courts that annulled those results and ordered that the process be done through the legally prescribed procedure. When the process was resumed, Mingo still went on to use concocted numbers, and eventually made a fraudulent second statement on March 13.
Mingo had declared that the APNU / AFC won 136,057 votes for District Four, while the PPP / C won 77,231. But the certified recount process clearly shows that the APNU / AFC won 116,941 votes for Region Four while PPP / C won 80,920.
Although Lowenfield is expected to return to work next year, there have been calls by several quarters for GECOM officials involved in electoral fraud not to return to office. A few days ago the Private Sector Commission (PSC) made such a call.
In a statement on Saturday, the PSC highlighted the importance of cleaning the GECOM house of all its threatened staff and preparing to hold next year’s Local Government Elections (LGE) when it is constitutionally due.