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…Hughes says GECOM evidence contradicts allegations against Lowenfield, Myers
Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes said the motions intended to remove the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield; the Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers; and the Region Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo from Office are misconceived.
The election officials who have been accused of electoral fraud have no later than Tuesday, June 15, 2021 to justify to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) why they should not be dismissed from Office.
In the motion against Myers, the PPP/C nominated Election Commissioners alleged that: “In breach of her functions, duties, responsibilities and obligations, the DCEO aided and abetted the CEO as he failed and or refused and or neglected to ensure due adherence and compliance of the statutory
process, to wit, Section 84 of ROPA by Returning Officer for Election District Number 4, Clairmont Mingo, an election officer under his control and supervision, during the process of adding up the votes recorded in the Statements of Poll for the said district.”
Similar motions were tabled against Lowenfield and Mingo on June 1. It was based on those motions that the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh wrote the trio requesting that they show cause why they should not be dismissed.
In a telephone interview with Village Voice News, Hughes, who is representing the three accused, said the motions are misconceived.
“A lot of the matters they accused them of being in violation of, the Commission has evidence that contradict it and a lot of the legal positions or allegations that were contained in the preamble to the request to show cause are not supported by the evidence of the events that took place or the responsibilities, more specifically of the Chief Elections Officer or the Deputy Chief Elections Officers,” Hughes told this newspaper.
Hours after the Chairman of the Elections Commission Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh wrote the embattled Election Officials, Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) and Member of Parliament, Khemraj Ramjattan expressed shock and disappointment while contending that the presumption of innocence was thrown through the window.
He said that it was unfortunate that the GECOM Chair would take such an approach when the matter is still engaging the attention of the Court. “One is presumed innocent until proven guilty…so this is premature,” Ramjattan said during an online programme.
In an interview with Village Voice Newspaper, longstanding GECOM Commission Vincent Alexander had said that GECOM had jumped the gun.
“This action here is not necessarily the way in which matters of this nature are dealt with; more than often if there are criminal charges brought against someone, administrative action is not taken until the criminal matter is heard, and then the evidence in the criminal matter is used in the administrative matter. Here, quite the opposite is being pushed for where the administrative matter now supersedes the criminal matter,” Alexander reasoned.
It is suspected that once the responses are received, the Elections Commission would deliberate on the matter before arriving at a decision.