Keith Lowenfield to face more electoral fraud charges today
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is expected to institute additional charges against embattled Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield for his controversial role in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.
According to a senior Police source, Lowenfield will be slapped with at least two additional charges of conspiracy to defraud today. This will be added to the plethora of other charges Lowenfield already faces for his role in attempts to sway the results of the elections in favour of the then ruling A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government.
Lowenfield is currently facing three counts of forgery and three counts of misconduct in public office. He has been placed on $300,000 bail. His Deputy, Roxanne Myers, has meanwhile been slapped with two counts of misconduct in public office and has been placed on $300,000 bail in relation to both charges.
These two were charged along with GECOM officials including embattled Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, who is on $600,000 bail for charges similar to what Myers is facing. It is understood that both Lowenfield and Myers were invited down to Police headquarters on Tuesday. Efforts to contact their legal counsel was futile.
Additionally, People’s National Congress Reform Chairperson Volda Lawrence and APNU/AFC activist Carol Joseph are also before the courts on electoral fraud charges. There are also electoral fraud charges against GECOM clerks Denise Bob-Cummings and Michelle Miller and GECOM Elections Officer Shefern February and Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan. They, too, have been released on bail.
In addition to these charges, motions seeking the dismissal of the three senior GECOM officials were tabled last week by GECOM Commissioners Sase Gunraj, Bibi Shadick and Manoj Narayan – all lawyers – before GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
The motion to dismiss Lowenfield from his substantive post as CEO was tabled by Gunraj and Shadick and listed 20 grounds on which he should be dismissed. The motion explained that the CEO, in spite of protests from contesting parties other than the APNU/AFC, deliberately chose to neglect the complaints of discrepancies in relation to Mingo’s numbers.
The motion notes that he also failed to adhere to a court order, issued by acting Chief Justice Roxane George, to prevent him from declaring the results of the election until Section 84 of RoPA had been complied with. Rather, Lowenfield prepared a final report pursuant to Section 99 of RoPA containing all of the unverified votes as declared by Mingo, ultimately declaring the APNU/AFC as the winners of the elections. He also sought to have the GECOM Chair convene a meeting to approve his fraudulent numbers.
The motion said that on June 13, in breach of Paragraph 12 of Order 60 of 2020 (the recount order), the CEO submitted a report in which he disregarded the votes cast for each list of candidates as established by the recount process and instead produced revised totals of votes cast after he had deducted scores of thousands of votes in favour of the PPP/C list of candidates on grounds of alleged “irregularities and anomalies”.
“In short, he failed and/or refused to produce the report as he was lawfully required to do as the CEO and instead, he was purporting to act as a Judge of the High Court hearing an elections petition,” it added.
In the case of Myers, that motion was submitted in the names of Shadick and Narayan. They argued that she aided Lowenfield in the commission of all his infractions and even went out of her way to facilitate a meeting in a GECOM facility by then Foreign Affairs Minister Karen Cummings where she threatened to revoke the accreditation of international observers.
Myers’ order to have the Guyana Police Force remove Commissioner Gunraj and political party representatives from the GECOM Command Centre during the tabulation of the SoPs is also listed as one of the reasons she should be dismissed from her substantive post as DCEO.
The grounds for Mingo’s dismissal surround his tabulation of the SoPs in which he clearly manufactured numbers to reflect a win by the APNU/AFC. It also concerns his conduct and defiance of the court orders mandating that he follow the outlined statutory process to acquire his final tally of the SoPs.
Justice Singh has since written to both Lowenfield and Myers asking them to provide, in writing, responses to the motion indicating why they should not be dismissed from their substantive posts. They have until June 15 to show why they should not be dismissed. (G3)