The International Center for Democracy (ICD) on Wednesday called on the US Government to apply sanctions against Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, for his repeated and fraudulent attempts to undermine the result of the March 2, 2020, presidential election in Guyana.
“Enough is enough,” said ICD Chairman Fazal Yussuff.
“Mr. Lowenfield has continued to brazenly thwart the will of the Guyanese people by refusing to provide, as required by Guyanese law, an accurate account of the results of the recount of the March election.
“We call on the United States government and other friends of Guyana’s democracy to hold him accountable by imposing sanctions on him for undermining the democratic process by disenfranchising more than 115,000 voters,” Mr. Yussuff said.
In 2018, the U.S. sanctioned the President of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council, Roberto Rivas Reyes, for “perpetuating electoral fraud that undermined Nicaragua’s electoral institutions.”
In Guyana, the March 2nd presidential election has been plagued by on-going controversy since the vote-count was stopped midway through, with the incumbent APNU government trailing and then, when restarted, attempted to show a government win.
After subsequent legal battles, a recount, completed June 7th, confirmed an opposition victory. However, as Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Lowenfield has continued to thwart an accurate declaration of the results.
In his most recent maneuver, Mr. Lowenfield submitted what he claimed to be a report of the “valid and credible votes” from the March election to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), showing a victory for the incumbent after invalidating almost 25% of the votes casted, but showing no evidence to support his spurious claim.
“The international community must send a strong and unmistakable message to the powers-that-be in Guyana that there is zero tolerance for anti-democratic actions on the part of public officials,” said Mr. Yussuff. “The survival of Guyana’s democratic institutions depends on it.”
The ICD is a New York-based private, non-profit organisation supported by Guyanese Americans.