Early on Monday, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield was arrested for the third time by the Guyana police and was slapped with three charges of misconduct in public office and three charges of forgery by the Guyana Police Force as it continues what it describes as its probe into allegations of fraud at the 2020 elections.
Lowenfield who is already before the Courts on private criminal charges filed against him by PPP Member Charles Ramson Jr., appeared in Court this afternoon to face the new charges.
The Prosecutor objected to bail for Lowenfield, but his objection was flitted away by the Magistrate who offerred bail in the sum of $300,000 for all of the charges.
Attorney Nigel Hughes said it appeared as though the charges against his clients, the Chief Election Officer and the Deputy Chief Election Officer, are to be used as a way of removing them from the Guyana Elections Commission.
“The intention is perhaps to have Mr. Lowenfield and the Deputy removed from their substantive positions and so by the filing of charges, there might be a basis by which, I assume, the Elections Commission will consider, I am assuming, an application for them to be suspended from office or not act. But as I have said that appears to be the basis for the trend going forward,” Attorney Nigel Hughes said.
Just last week, Deputy Chief Election Officer Roxanne Myers was charged for misconduct in public office and granted bail. She was charged after being held in Police custody for 72 hours. A number of other senior and junior GECOM officials have also faced the Court on various charges related to allegations of fraud at the 2020 elections.
All of the charges were triggered by private criminal charges which were first filed by representatives of the PPP and in one case, the New Movement Party.
Lowenfield will return to Court on the 23rd October for the continuation of this latest case.
On Friday, Coalition Election Commissioners accused the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Retired Justice Claudette Singh of facilitating the inquiosition into officials of CECOM.
Singh however, said their allegation was baseless and in a statement, vowed to protect the staff: “As Chairperson of GECOM and a former Police Legal Advisor, I do not have the authority to interfere into the work of the Guyana Police Force nor any other Statutory Body and will always ensure that the best interest of the members of staff of GECOM are protected,” Singh said.
APNU General Secretary and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, however expressed concern about what appears to be an apparent collusion between the GECOM Chairman and police investigators.
“It is no wonder that the Chairman of the Elections Commission has not raised her voice in concern for the welfare of these officers who work under her. The only conclusion one can arrive at is that the Chairman is complicit with respect to the dismantling of the GECOM by the PPP,” Harmon said.
The Opposition Leader observed that none of the officials, who were responsible for the now missing polls books, has been questioned by police, an indication of a campaign of bullyism to break up the commission and an assault on democracy.
In just under two months since the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came to office, five GECOM officials have been charged by the police on various allegations including misconduct in public office and fraud.
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