Take disciplinary actions against Lowenfield – TCI, TNM
Two of the smaller political parties that contested the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections are calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to invoke Article 161A (1) of the Constitution and take disciplinary actions against Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield should he continue to flout the Commission’s orders.
The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) lauded the actions of GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh in attempting to bring a swift conclusion to the elections process but noted that it appears as though the CEO is unsure of how to comply with clear directives received from the head of the Commission. The party explained, via a statement, that it is sure that Lowenfield has the experience as well as the ability to undertake the tasks he is so hired to do.
TCI said that it is now of the firm belief that the CEO’s action can possibly be construed as insubordinate action against the Chair. The party posited that Article 161A (1) gives the Elections Commission responsibility for the efficient functioning of the Secretariat, and appointment of its officers. The Commission, therefore, has the power to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over such staff. Section 18 of the Election Laws Act No 15 of 2000 stipulates that the CEO is subject to the direction and control of the Commission.
“TCI proposes that should CEO Lowenfield appear to continue to be reluctant or perhaps even appear unable to efficiently complete his duties as per deadline issued, that Madame Chair exercises disciplinary control as the case may warrant. TCI respectfully requests this action from the Commission, for efficient functioning of the Secretariat and so that its work may be completed in a timely manner,” the party posited.
TCI said that it is cognisant that Guyana is now operating on a limited budget during a pandemic and the people require assistance and that only a legally elected Government can offer assistance to them.
Meanwhile, The New Movement (TNM) in a similar statement went a step further and called for the immediate dismissal of Lowenfield if he fails to comply with the instructions and present his report to the Commission today.
TNM said it will not stand idly by and allow Lowenfield to trample on the rights of the Guyanese electorate while noting that it has been over 130 days since they went to the polls.
The party said that Guyanese and the international community witnessed yet another vile attempt to derail the declaration of the winner of the General and Regional Elections on Friday, adding that the attempt does not sit well with the members of The New Movement and the people of Guyana who the party represents.
“Mr Lowenfield has acted ultra vires on numerous occasions and has done so once again today, June 10th, 2020, after he was written to with specific instruction from his employer, GECOM, on June 9th, 2020. His very actions have held an entire nation at ransom and snatched the people’s democratic freedom. Mr Lowenfield has been noted to peddle an erroneous statement in June 2020 saying that he is not bounded by the directives of GECOM but has stated publicly in 2019 that it was GECOM who by constitutional order, instructs him,” the party stated.
The TNM reminded that Lowenfield is avoiding being served a court summons after private criminal charges were filed against him. The party explained that the CEO is the person responsible for the suffering of the Guyanese people since he is the one bent on not executing the functions of his office.