…for wilful breach of public trust, conspiracy to commit fraud
A citizen has filed private criminal charges against embattled Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, for wilfully breaching the trust of the public by submitting a fraudulent report to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) with fabricated figures that invalidated over 115,000 votes instead of using the results emanating from the National Recount as instructed.
The “Misconduct in Public Office contrary to the Common Law” charge was filed on Tuesday with the Guyana Police Force.
The citizen, Desmond Morian, is contending that Lowenfield, while performing his duties as CEO of GECOM, ascertained the results of the March 2 elections “knowing the said results to be false, the said willful misconduct amounting to a breach of the public’s trust in the office of the Chief Elections Officer of GECOM).”
In addition, another criminal charge has been filed against CEO Lowenfield for conspiracy to commit fraud.
This new charge, filed by Daniel Josh Kanhai, a member of The New Movement Party, reads that “the accused between the 5th day of March and 23rd day of June 2020 at Georgetown in the Georgetown Magisterial District, County of Demerara, State of Guyana conspired with person(s) unknown to commit the common law offence of fraud, to wit, by representing to the Guyana Elections Commission, that tables attached to his Election Report dated 23rd June 2020 accurately reflected the true results of the said election, in order to materially alter the results of the said election with intent to defraud knowing the said tabulation to be false.”
In Lowenfield’s report, the CEO had claimed that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition garnered 171,825 votes while the PPP/C gained 166,343 votes.
How the CEO arrived at those figures is unknown, since the certified results from the legally conducted recount exercise supervised by GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) pellucidly show that the PPP/C won with 233,336 votes while the APNU/AFC garnered 217,920.
In fact, he was clearly instructed by GECOM Chair, (retd) Justice Claudette Singh to use the recount figures to prepare his final elections report, which would have paved the way for PPP/C to be officially declared the winner of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Lowenfield’s attempt to alter the results of the results and deny the will of the people comes on the heels of two previous attempts he made to give legitimacy to the fraudulent declarations of Mingo.
Mingo, during the tabulation of votes following the March 2 elections, used figures which were heavily inflated in favour of the APNU/AFC coalition – vastly differing from the official numbers recorded on the Statements of Poll (SoPs).
On March 5, Mingo declared fraudulent results for District Four, prompting the PPP/C to move to the courts which scrapped those results and ordered that the process be done through the legally prescribed procedure. When the process was resumed, Mingo still proceeded to use concocted numbers, and he eventually made a second fraudulent declaration 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 for Region Four, the APNU/AFC won 116,941 votes while PPP/C won 80,920.
This meant the PPP/C won the March 2 polls by some 15,416 votes but these results were challenged by the caretaker coalition.
The Court of Appeal in Guyana ruled last week in the Eslyn David matter that “more votes cast” means “more valid votes cast” in the context of the recount order.
The PPP/C has since approached the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) contending that the Appeal Court’s pronouncements have “plunged the law in total confusion and it is now no longer clear how an election of members of the National Assembly is to be challenged and how the election of the President can be challenged”.
That matter comes up today before the Trinidad-based regional court for arguments.
However, while the APNU/AFC has publicly supported Lowenfield’s fraudulent report, the party’s Executive, Joseph Harmon, who joined the proceedings as an intervener on behalf of the coalition, in his written submission to the CCJ on Sunday confirmed that the Court of Appeal did not define the term “valid votes”.
In fact, in its ruling, the Court of Appeal had stated it is for the Elections Commission, and not the Chief Elections Officer, to make the determination of a final and credible result.
This meant that Lowenfield took it upon himself to unilaterally announce that he was mandated by his “constitutional” office and went ahead to disenfranchise over 115,000 voters in his recent report to GECOM.