‘We cannot have one person holding up this country’ – Commissioner Shadick

Commissioner Bibi Shadick

“We cannot have one person holding up this country, right now that is what is happening.”

This was the immediate reaction of Opposition-nominated Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission, Bibi Shadick, moments ago, in response to Chief Elections Officer, keith Lowenfield’s failure to submit his report today in order to move ahead with the final declaration of the results of the March 2, polls.

After emerging from a planned Commission meeting today, Shadick bemoaned the fact that the CEO has failed to carry out his duties to allow for the electoral process to come to an end, almost five months after the electorate voted.

Following the ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Wednesday, Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh issued strict instructions to the CEO to prepare his report using the certified recount figures (from the Statements of Recount).

However, Lowenfield refused to do so, rather he has written a letter to the Chair seeking clarity even though the directions given by the Chair were already very clear.

Justice Singh has since responded to the Chief Elections Officer’s request for clarification, simply stating that her initial letter stands.

She has since instructed him to submit the elections report, using the recount figures, by 11am tomorrow (Saturday).

Meanwhile, when asked what are the options available to the Commission should the CEO insist in refusing to comply with the directives of the Chairperson, Commissioner Shadick responded:  ”I don’t know, when that time comes we will deal with it”.

Shadick added that all of the Commissioners are well aware of what the GECOM Chair has directed the CEO to do.

Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

Commissioner Sase Gunraj also expressed similar views, saying that the CEO is legally bound to carry out the directives the Commission.

“He is a creature of the Commission, he is not entitled to act on his own,” Gunraj said.

The recount results have confirmed that the PPP/C has won the March 2 polls with in excess of 15,000 votes more than its main rival, the APNU/AFC Coalition.

Major powers have called on the David Granger-led APNU/AFC to concede defeat and allow for a smooth transition of government.