GUYANA | GECOM Gov’t members move to dismiss Election officials
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, June 3, 2021 - Commissioners appointed by the People’s Progressive Party’s on the Guyana Elections Commissioners have tabled three motions for the “immediate dismissal” of the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield; Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers and the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
The long anticipated motion of dismissal by the government members of GECOM, arose from the March 2 General and Regional Elections, which saw complaints by the Chief Elections Officer and the Returning Officers of fraudulent practices in the elections.
This saw private charges being proffered against the elections officials by the PPP, and their being arrested and charged by the PPP government.
However, opposition coalition-appointed member of the Elections Commissioner Vincent Alexander has charged that the move to fire the elections officials is racially motivated.
“This move is obviously a ploy that has been on their agenda for some time. It is not something new. I do not associate it with the elections. I think the election is the moment that they are using,” Alexander said.
He cited previous comments by PPP appointed Elections Commissioner Robeson Benn, about the predominantly Afro-Guyanese makeup of the GECOM staff. “Ever since Commissioner Benn came to GECOM, he raised the question of the ethnic composition of the senior management and, for me, this is an attempt to address and, from their perspective, to redress the ethnic composition,” Alexander said.
Alexander, one of the most experienced members of the Elections Commission had taken the position that the Chief Elections Officer was the one who was legally empowered to decide what were valid votes and compile his report to the Commission. Mr. Alexander had also been in favour of the use of the 10 district declarations to declare the final declaration of results.
The coalition has consistently accused the PPP of electoral fraud through the impersonation of dead persons and others who had been overseas on voting day as well as the absence of key documents to reconcile votes with the voters’ lists at polling stations.
The High Court has dismissed two APNU+AFC election petitions, one of which the coalition was asking the Court to determine whether dead persons and persons overseas on the day of polling could be considered valid votes. This was dismissed by the High Court on a technicality.