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…to amend motions to have this done
By Svetlana Marshall
The Government nominated Election Commissioners have signaled their intention to amend their earlier motions seeking the immediate dismissal of the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield; the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers; and the Region 4 Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo to have them dismissed with notice.
This latest attempt by the Government nominated Election Commissioners – Sase Gunraj, Bibi Shadick and Manoj Narayan – comes approximately one month after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) took a decision to send Lowenfield,
Myers and Mingo on annual leave in light of three motions which sought their immediate dismissal.
Moments before a meeting of the Election Commission adjourned on Tuesday (July 27), the Government nominated Election Commissioners indicated that that their motions would be amended.
“At the point of adjournment, they indicated their intention to amend their motions. The motions previously called for immediate dismissal, they now intend to amend that to call for termination with notice,” Opposition nominated Election Commissioner, Vincent Alexander explained.
In a telephone interview with Village Voice News, Alexander said the PPP/C is now attempting to ‘jump the gun.’
“So they are removing them [Lowenfield, Myers and Mingo] from the realms of disciplinary action, which requires a hearing into a simple administrative exercise,” Alexander explained. He said, the Government Commissioners are hoping to secure a majority vote to have Lowenfield, Myers and Mingo terminated with notice without any investigation.
“They are trying to have them terminated so they wouldn’t return,” he posited. He said the matter will come up for discussion when the Commission meets again next Tuesday (August 3).
The GECOM officials were sent on their annual leave on June 28, 2021. The CEO is currently on 42 days annual leave, the DCEO 120 days leave and Mingo, 35 days leave. Should the Government Commissioners succeed, the notice will be issued before the conclusion of their annual leave, and the termination will take effect once the leave ends.
The Government nominated Election Commissioners had tabled the motions on June 1, 2021 during a sitting of the Commission. 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. The Election Officials, accused of electoral fraud, had up to June 15, 2021 to justify to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) why they should not be dismissed from Office. Their letters of defense were reportedly submitted on time.