The Private Sector Commission (PSC) as well as the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) have lauded the decision by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to fire Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, his deputy Roxanne Myers and Returning Officer for Region Four Clairmont Mingo.
See full statements:
Private Sector Commission
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) wishes to note its satisfaction and register its support relative to the Ruling given [yesterday] by the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh to terminate the services of the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, Deputy Returning Officer, Roxanne Myers, and District 4 Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo for their attempts to derail the election process and the will of the people.
The Commission commends the Chairperson and GECOM Commissioners, for having brought this matter to closure.
The Private Sector Commission from the beginning has publicly advocated that GECOM’s decisions be transparent and in compliance with the law and consistent with international standards and best practices. The PSC believes that this decision is a step in the right direction in restoring public confidence in the Guyana Elections Commission, especially as we approach the holding of Local Government Elections.
The PSC will remain committed in its efforts to honor its role as a key stakeholder by promoting and advocating for a non-partisan, fair and democratic process in conducting elections in accordance with the law.
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has continued to follow keenly the developments at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) since the conclusion of the General and Regional Elections (GRE) 2020.
On June 2, 2021, the GCCI issued a statement expressing that as an organization, the Chamber was pleased at the steps taken at that time to hold recalcitrant officers of the GECOM accountable; this included the Chief Elections Officer, the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, and the Returning Officer for District 4. As an accredited observer, the Chamber highlighted that it witnessed several acts of obfuscation, open defiance to the instructions of the Commission and the Courts, as well as partial actions during the course of the GRE 2020.
[Yesterday], August 12, 2021, it was reported widely in the press that the three recalcitrant officers have been dismissed from the GECOM. The GCCI would like to state that this is a step in the right direction for Guyana. This is based on our first-hand observation of the partisan and unprofessional actions of those officers during GRE which placed Guyana at risk of entering into the league of pariah states.
The Chamber looks forward to an open and transparent hiring process to fill the now vacant positions at the GECOM with technically competent and impartial officers to execute their statutory responsibilities. We would also like to reiterate that these developments represent an opportune time for us as a nation to undertake the necessary electoral reforms, and underscores the urgency with which they ought to be undertaken.
Thus, the GCCI calls on the leadership of Guyana to ensure that the electoral reforms process is undertaken as a matter of highest priority so as to ensure that there is no risk of the recurrences of GRE 2020. The GCCI anticipates the electoral reforms process to be one which has the input and involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, so as to solicit ideas on the strongest sets of reforms possible. The Chamber stands ready, as a partner in national development, to support the electoral reforms process and anticipates this important undertaking to be supported by all citizens of Guyana.