The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) does not have any mechanism in place to ensure that all candidates appearing on the lists—submitted by the various political parties—are citizens of Guyana only.
This was made known by Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield who indicated that GECOM has not even decided how it will deal with those persons who are actually identified as or are known to be dual citizens but appear as candidates for the upcoming elections.
Lowenfield told the media, “I asked representatives and deputy representatives in their statutory declarations whether they are all Guyanese, I hope they are.”
He continued, “The statutory declarations say to us ‘well I am GT to the bone.”
Lowenfield said that his hands are basically tied as he has no way of making sure every candidate fulfills the citizenship requirement.
He said, “If they lie there is nothing I can do. I am to be advised on calling in the police. If we subsequently find out that they are not Guyanese to the bone. I think that the Commission is deliberating on actions to be taken in the circumstances.
Lowenfield was pointed to the fact that the law provides for one-year imprisonment to be imposed on candidates who are dual citizens.
He said, “I am aware of that. My Commission will advise on the appropriate time.”
Asked what happens to those who were candidates for the 2015 elections but were later exposed as dual citizens, Lowenfield replied, “I am at 2020 and I am looking 2020 going forward.