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GUYANA | Controversial Returning Officer Mingo charged and remains in jail

  • Written by Wiredja Newsdesk
  • Published in Justice
From Left, Chief Electoral Officer Keith Lowenfield and Returning officer for the controversial Region Four Clairmont Mingo. Lowenfield is on bail while Mingo is in police custody. From Left, Chief Electoral Officer Keith Lowenfield and Returning officer for the controversial Region Four Clairmont Mingo. Lowenfield is on bail while Mingo is in police custody.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, August 29, 2020 – The Returning Officer for the controversial Region Four, Clairmont Mingo has been charged and he remains in police custody, his lawyer said Saturday.

Acting Chief Justice Rishi Persaud on Friday ordered that after the expiration of his extended 24 hour detention on Saturday at 2:20 PM, he must report to police every day from 9 AM. Mr. Mingo was also required to lodge his passport.

The 72 hours expired on Friday and the Police Commissioner secured a High Court extension up to 2:20 PM Saturday.

Mr. Mingo’s Attorney-at-Law said he was informed that his client was charged in connection with electoral fraud. No details of the charges were provided.

The lawyer was Saturday afternoon preparing papers to ask the High Court to release his client.

Well-placed sources said Mr. Mingo has been slapped with at least four charges. He was arrested on Tuesday at his Mahaicony home as part of a police probe into alleged electoral fraud concerning the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

Mr. Mingo is due to appear in court on Monday.

Mingo’s arrest by the PPP administration is said to be a strategic move by the PPP government in light of the Opposition APNU+AFC’ filing of an election petition in the High Court.

Its understood that if there are criminal charges proffered against all the potential GECOM witnesses, their credibility would be in question by the court.

Its further understood that some seven GECOM employees have been the victim of private criminal charges by the ruling PPP administration.

Statement the Guyana Police Force (GPF) says it has launched a “comprehensive” investigation against the Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield and the Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, in relation to the disputed March 2, 2020, regional and general election.

The police in a brief statement said that it received “formal reports” against the two Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials on Friday and subsequently obtained advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack. The police have no details as to who filed the “formal” reports.

“The DPP has further indicated that in the exercise of powers vested in her, under Article 187 of the Constitution, she will take over the private criminal charges currently pending in the Magistrate’s Court in relation to the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections and its aftermath,” the police added.

The police probe against the two electoral officials follows the disputed results of the elections in which the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was declared the winners on August 2, defeating the then ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

  • Countries: Guyana