Lowenfield’s action tantamount to criminal malfeasance, should be suspended – Private Sector

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PSC Chairman Captain Gerry Gouveia

The Private Sector Commission (PSC), on Wednesday, said that the report submitted by Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield in which he discarded over 115,000 valid votes, is yet another blatant attempt by the CEO to manipulate the elections results in favour of the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition.

In a press statement today, the PSC called for the Mr Lowenfield to be suspended and investigated immediately for his actions and said he should have no further role in the electoral process.

“The Private Sector Commission has no hesitation in pointing out that the results provided by Keith Lowenfield in his letter of 23rd June, 2020, to GECOM Chairman, which give the APNU+AFC a majority of the votes cast, are clearly fraudulent and represent a blatant, if not criminal, attempt by Keith Lowenfield to manipulate the results of the Elections in favour of the APNU+AFC and to subvert the very responsibility of the Commission of which he is an officer and bound to serve professionally”.

Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield

“The Private Sector Commission condemns in the strongest possible terms, this most recent act of Mr. Lowenfield, which we believe to be tantamount to criminal malfeasance. The Private Sector Commission urges upon GECOM, immediate action to suspend the Chief Elections Officer from any further participation in the election process until such time as a full and independent investigation can be held into his conduct,” the release stated.

Following is the full statement from the PSC 

The Private Sector Commission has seen a copy of a letter from the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of GECOM, Keith Lowenfield, sent on 23rd June, 2020, to the Chairman of GECOM in response to a letter from the Chairman to him on the 16th June, 2020, in which the Chairman requested the CEO “to prepare and submit a report by 1300 hours on18th June” using the results of the Recount for the consideration of the Commission.

The Private Sector Commission is appalled at the effrontery shown to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission by Mr. Keith Lowenfield in the presentation of this letter and the Private Sector Commission is aghast at the Table attached to his letter in which he claims to show what he describes as “the valid and credible votes cast in accordance with Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act”.

It is public knowledge that, in direct defiance of the request of the Chairman of GECOM in her letter of 16th June, 2020, Mr. Lowenfield refused to respond to the Chairman on the specious grounds that he had been served a notice of an “Application” which was before the Court of Appeal on the matter, even though he had not been injuncted by the Court.

Mr. Lowenfield has now chosen to respond to the Chairman of GECOM claiming that he is acting on the “guidance of the Court of Appeal” in the preparation of his Report. The Court of Appeal has, in fact, given no such guidance nor has it given direction to the Chief Elections Officer. Mr. Lowenfield had also presumed to act on a decision of the Court of Appeal which had been stayed and of no effect.

The Court of Appeal, in arriving at its decision, in fact, has rejected five (5) of the six (6) Orders sought by Eslyn David, amongst them the Order seeking to restrain Lowenfield “from complying with the directions of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission” and has further rejected the Order seeking to restrain Lowenfield from submitting “an elections report under Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act without the Guyana Elections Commission determining the final credible count and/or the credibility of the results of the General and Regional Elections”, yet, this is exactly what Keith Lowenfield, acting in his capacity as Chief Elections Officer, has attempted to do in his submission to the Chairman of the Elections Commission.

Instead of carrying out the request of the Chairman of the Elections Commission made to Mr. Lowenfield in her letter of 16th June, 2020, to use “the results of the Recount for the consideration of the Commission”, in his Report, Mr. Lowenfield attached a Table which he arbitrarily and unilaterally seeks to disenfranchise some 115,844 or 25% of the persons who legitimately cast their votes in a completely valid process on Election day and purports to assign the allocation of seats to the contesting parties on the basis of votes cast which bear no relationship whatsoever to the matrices produced from the Statements of Recount or the Certificate of valid votes tabulated at the Recount.

The Private Sector Commission has no hesitation in pointing out that the results provided by Keith Lowenfield in his letter of 23rd June, 2020, to GECOM Chairman, which give the APNU+AFC a majority of the votes cast, are clearly fraudulent and represent a blatant, if not criminal, attempt by Keith Lowenfield to manipulate the results of the Elections in favour of the APNU+AFC and to subvert the very responsibility of the Commission of which he is an officer and bound to serve professionally.

The Private Sector Commission had become increasingly concerned at the biased and unlawful action of Keith Lowenfield, serving as Chief Elections Officer, from the time he readily embraced the fraudulent tabulation submitted by Clairmont Mingo of the District 4 results and incorporated them in the Report delivered to the Chairman of the Commission and held in abeyance in the Gazetted Order for National Recount.

The Private Sector Commission condemns in the strongest possible terms, this most recent act of Mr. Lowenfield, which we believe to be tantamount to criminal malfeasance. The Private Sector Commission urges upon GECOM, immediate action to suspend the Chief Elections Officer from any further participation in the election process until such time as a full and independent investigation can be held into his conduct.

The Private Sector Commission expects and looks forward to the Chairman of GECOM conforming to the Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice restraining the Commission from declaring the results of the Guyana Elections of the 2nd March until the CCJ issues final orders following the hearing and determination of the questions raised before it by way of notice of application from the PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo and presidential candidate Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

The Private Sector Commission continues to believe and expect that GECOM will use the results from the matrices produced from the Statements of Recount recording the valid votes and summarized in the District Certificates of Tabulation to declare the results of the Recount leading to the swearing in of Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali as President of Guyana.