Lowenfield defends decision to promote controversial IT Officer at centre of flash drive scandal

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GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Mr Keith Lowenfield, has defended the promotion of controversial staffer, Enrique Livan, as a supervisor, in the ongoing national recount of votes inspite of several concerns over his involvement in the process.

Livan, an IT Officer at the GECOM Secretariat, was accused of being part of the plot by Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, to declare fictitious figures for that District.

“The reports in the media are believed to have emanated from a letter sent to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission by a political party which was subsequently circulated on social media.

“The accusations chronicled in that letter are patently false and must be outrightly rejected,” Lowenfield said in defending a decision to promote Livan.

Coincidentally, the controversial staffer is allegedly the person, who left with a flash drive containing sensitive election information at the Ashmins building, High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, and was later caught in a room working with the flash drive.

A few days ago, Livan was placed as the supervisor for the counting station responsible for the votes cast in Region Four, effectively overseeing the recount of the votes for which he was implicated as part of the plot to rig 2020 the elections.

Following is the full statement by Lowenfield: 

There have been several media reports over the last few days objecting to the participation of Mr. Enrique Livan in the ongoing national recount of votes on the basis of false accusations of him presenting fictitious figures, removing a laptop and flash drive from the Tabulation Centre for District 4 at GECOM’s Command Centre housed at Hadfield and High Streets in the 2nd March, 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The reports in the media is believed to have emanated from a letter sent to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission by a political party which was subsequently circulated on social media. The accusations chronicled in that letter are patently false and must be outrightly rejected.

Mr. Enrique Livan, a permanent staff of GECOM has been a team member for National Recount of District Four from 6 May 2020. All workstation staff are on rotation, as such Mr. Livan was assigned as supervisor of a recount workstation for District 4.

On the morning of 5th March 2020, Mr. Livan was tabulating votes cast for lists of candidates for District 4 when counting agents accused him of stealing a laptop and flash drive and demanded to see the information therein.

The Chief Election Officer was called in after accusations and assaults were meted out to Mr. Livan. The Guyana Police Force also appeared to deal with the alleged theft. As a consequence of the allegations, the CEO affirmed that as a staffer, Mr. Livan could not be accused of theft of GECOM’s equipment. He also facilitated a verification of the information on the computer and flash drive.

Mr. Livan continues conduct himself and execute his functions in a diligent and professional manner.