Pressure is mounting from various quarters for Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield to be censured after he was caught in the fourth attempt to alter the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections, following his submission of a second report with doctored figures on Tuesday.
Lowenfield submitted to the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh, a report containing numbers which do not reflect those certified at the National Recount which was deemed credible by a high-profile team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
In fact, the manufactured figures included in Lowenfield’s latest report do not even correspond with the numbers he had concocted in his first report to the Chairperson.
In the first report, Lowenfield claimed that the APNU/AFC won 125,010 votes while the PPP/C won 56,627 – disfranchising some 60 per cent of the electorate on mere allegations that their votes are “invalid”.
But now, Lowenfield’s new report validates votes he would have previously invalidated; the CEO now claims that the APNU/AFC coalition garnered 171,825 votes while the PPP/C gained 166,343 votes.
How the CEO arrived at those figures is unknown, since the certified results from the legally conducted recount exercise supervised by GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) pellucidly show that the PPP/C won with 233,336 votes while the APNU/AFC garnered 217,920.
INews understands that the GECOM Chairperson has rejected Lowenfield’s latest report.
CARICOM Chair, Mia Mottley, the ABC countries, as well as the OAS, have spoken out against the blatant actions by Lowenfield to alter the results of the polls in favour of the incumbent APNU/AFC.
The Commonwealth Secretariat on Wednesday also condemned the move by Lowenfield to invalidate over 115,000 votes and warned of the consequences that this could bring to Guyana’s reputation as a democratic nation.
Additionally, the local Private Sector Commission (PSC), an accredited observer in the March 2 polls, has called for the CEO to be suspended and for an investigation to be launched into his conduct.
Lowenfield’s attempt to alter the results of the results and deny the will of the people comes on the heels of two previous attempts made by Returning Officer for Region Four Clairmont Mingo.
Mingo, during the tabulation of votes following the March 2 elections, used figures which were heavily inflated in favour of the APNU/AFC coalition – vastly differing from the official numbers recorded on the Statements of Poll (SoPs).
On March 5, Mingo declared fraudulent results for District Four, prompting the PPP/C to move to the courts which scrapped those results and ordered that the process be done through the legally prescribed procedure.
When the process was resumed, Mingo still proceeded to use concocted numbers, and he eventually made a second fraudulent declaration on March 13.
Mingo had declared that the APNU/AFC won 136,057 votes for District Four, while the PPP/C won 77,231.
But the certified recount process clearly shows that for Region Four, the APNU/AFC won 116,941 votes while PPP/C won 80,920.
Mingo’s attempts to alter the results of the elections were noted by all international stakeholders, members of the diplomatic community and electoral observers.