OP-ED | Charging Lowenfield and Myers

Lincoln Lewis

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By Lincoln Lewis
News that there are likely to be more charges against Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield; and Deputy Chief Election Officer, Roxanne Myers suggest the Guyana Police Force has not done a good job from the beginning of laying charges against these persons or is acting on political direction. Some are inclined to think it’s a combination intended to harass and defame these persons.

What is also striking is that as the Police is seeking to lay more charges, the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has at the same time asked Mr. Lowenfield and Ms. Myers to show cause why they should not be dismissed. This is based on motions brought by the People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C)- nominated Commissioners. Even to the casual observers it seems as though there is a move to remove these two officers, regardless of. And it would appear that if fair means does not work then foul means will do. If this is not the intent of the Force, GECOM or Government then they must prove otherwise by their actions.
In light of what is unfolding it would be difficult to dissuade  reasonable questions, whether the police, GECOM and PPP/C government are serious about pursuing justice in the 2020 Election or bent on creating scapegoats. Mr. Lowenfield and Mr. Myers, while ultimately the head and deputy of GECOM, and it could be argued the buck stops at them, revelation from the Recount showed what a tangled web some weaved when they seek to deceive.

For instance, in many strongholds of the PPP/C and in the areas where GECOM declared in their favour there were massive irregularities. The Returning Officer for Region One did not comply with the legal requirements in accounting for the ballots in the boxes. Another area where more than 10,000 votes were tallied, i.e. is the lower East Coast Demerara which is a PPP/C stronghold there were problems. In this area 47 ballot boxes had no documents except the ballot. Those boxes were managed by Presiding Officers. Corresponding in the Opposition strongholds these irregularities did not arise.

The stated are two instances among many. Not one of the Presiding Officers for those 47 voting stations or the Returning Officer for Region One has been questioned by the police. At the most basic of deduction it would appear that there is no attempt to question, much less charge them,  in an effort to pursue justice for what happened in the 2020 Election.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has said that Guyana will not have another election with Mr. Lowenfield or Ms. Myers in their present positions. He seems unbothered about the 47 Presiding Officers and Returning Officer of Region One, to mention a few.  A pattern is emerging and it is not enticing for achieving justice with regards to the 2020 Election. Given the prevailing scenario, the Chairperson of GECOM, PPP/C-nominated Commissioners, the Guyana Police Force and Government would find it difficult to convince a significant section of Guyanese, based on the aforementioned, that they are pursuing justice.

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