The embattled Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield wishes to longer be part of the appeal matter that is before the courts, which is seeking to overturn a decision made by the Chief Justice (CJ) Roxanne George on Monday; that the data derived from the recount process is legit, and should be used to declare the results of the March General and Regional Elections.
Lowenfield – the third-named respondent in the matter– made his intention known through his counsel, Attorney-at-law Neil Boston, at the Court of Appeal (COA)’s virtual Case Management Conference (CMC) held earlier today.
While Lowenfield is permitted to go this route, he has not formally stated why he opted to do so.
But Opposition Candidate, Attorney-at-law Sanjeev Datadin, is of the belief that Lowenfield’s move is strategic and geared at saving face, if this court matter reaches the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Datadin, who is representing the twelfth-named Respondent, Dr Vishnu Bandhu of the United Republican Party (URP), said that Lowenfield cannot “risk going back to the CCJ”.
It was the CCJ that clarified Lowenfield’s role within the electoral process, that is, he is subject to the direction and control of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). He has, however, on more than three occasions, refused to abide by the GECOM Chair, Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh’s directive that he complies a report utilizing the results from the recount.
He instead, on all occasions, sought to invalidate votes and utilize the 10 declarations made by the Returning Officers (ROs), including that controversial Region Four declaration – which was the sole reason for the operationalisation of the recount process.
Those declarations were set aside by GECOM, after they were overtaken by the Recount Process. But now, a government supporter, Misenga Jones, wishes to have those declarations resurrected by way of an appeal – even though the matter was declared “res judicata”, that is, already adjudicated, by the CJ.
If this matter goes back to the CCJ with Lowenfield listed as a respondent, his participation will seem antagonistic, Datadin told the Guyana Standard today.
“The CCJ in the case Ali v. David, gave very, very clear, unambiguous direction as it relates to the responsibilities and functions of the CEO…His further involvement would only be antagonistic to those positions. It would only be contrary to it,” the lawyer said.
The matter has been set for hearing on Saturday, July 25 at 10am.