GECOM’s Lowenfield withdraws High Court case for dismissal; way cleared for contract termination

Last Updated on Monday, 9 August 2021, 9:57 by Denis Chabrol

Region/ District Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo (left) and Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield at the High Court on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

The Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield on Monday withdrew his case that he had filed challenging plans to summarily dismiss him  because of concerns that he would not have received a fair hearing.

People’s Progressive Party-aligned Elections Commissioner, Sase Gunraj said Mr. Lowenfield’s decision now paves the way for the seven-member Elections Commission to debate a motion and terminate his contract. “The withdrawal of the matter means that there is no impediment to the participation of myself and Commissioner (Bibi) Shadick and as a consequence, I see that the motion can now be debated to finality,” he said.

His Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes on Monday withdrew the case before High Court Judge, Joann Barlow.

The decision to withdraw the case followed last Thursday’s submission of a copy of an amended motion by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Election Commissioners  Gunraj and Bibi Shadick that now provides for the termination of his contract. Mr. Lowenfield had feared that efforts to summarily dismiss him would have been tainted by the biases of Commissioners Gunraj and Shadick.

Mr. Hughes had previously stated that the Court’s decision would have applied to Deputy Chief Elections Officer Roxanne Myers and Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.

Roxanne Myers

Opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change-aligned  Elections Commissioner, Vincent Alexander is on record as saying that the PPP commissioners had taken steps to avoid a neutral tribunal from hearing the motions.

Mr. Gunraj on Monday restated that his position that the three senior GECOM officers had allegedly violated a number of rules connected to the March 2, 2020 general elections and that they should be removed from the Commission. “I, like the rest of my colleagues, am determined that this is the way that it has to go. There is enough evidence, there is enough information not only in my position but in the public domain about the (alleged) misfeasance) on behalf of all three of those persons,”  he said.

Messrs. Lowenfield, Mingo and Ms, Myers are before the court on several charges related to electoral fraud. A number of other GECOM officials and the Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) are also facing similar charges.