Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has defended invalidating over 115,000 voters.
In a press statement issued by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Lowenfield said “at all times, I have acted in conformity with the laws.”
He was at the time responding to an article in the Stabroek News which reported that the CEO’s actions are seen as a clear act of insubordination.
Lowenfield has received backlash from many local and regional stakeholders, with the most recent being the Chair of the Caribbean Community, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley who had asked: “on what grounds and by what form of executive fiat does the Chief Elections Officer determine that he should invalidate 1 vote, far less over 115 000 votes when the votes were already certified as valid by officers of the Guyana Elections Commission in the presence of the political parties.”
Only recently, regional political scientist Peter Wickham reasoned that “Lowenfield is part of GECOM, GECOM supervised the election, so is Lowenfield saying that he supervised an election in which 50 per cent of the votes cast should not have been cast.”
According to Wickham, “elections are supervised by GECOM, if there is a failure regarding that, it’s GECOM’s failure …they should be hanging their heads in shame to suggest that they supervised an election in which half of the people who voted should not have voted.”
Lowenfield unilaterally altered the certified recount results, which show the PPP/C winning the elections, to award the “victory” to APNU/AFC coalition.
The recount results, which are seen as credible by local and international stakeholders, show that the PPP/C has won with 233,336 votes.