Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield this morning was slapped with three private criminal fraud charges. He was granted bail in the sum of $450,000 by Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty.
He appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
It was only until yesterday that authorities were able to serve Lowenfield with the charges which were filed on June 30, 2020, by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member Desmond Morian and member of The New Movement, Daniel Josh Kanhai.
Lowenfield was initially slated to appear in court on July 3, 2020, but did not show up after the court’s bailiff was unable to serve the documents on him. This caused Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty to instruct the authorities to send him a summons.
Yesterday, Kanhai was able to serve a summons on Lowenfield after careful planning and strategizing. He was served at GECOM Secretariat at Kingston, Georgetown.
This morning when the matter was called before Magistrate McGusty, no reporters were allowed in the courtroom.
The first charge stated that Lowenfield, between Match 5, 2020 and June 29,2020, while performing his duty as the Chief Elections Officer, without lawful excuse or justification, willfully misconducted himself at Georgetown, by ascertaining results of March 2, 2020, General and Regional elections of Guyana knowing the said results to be false. The said willful misconduct amounting to a breach of the public’s trust in the office of the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
It was further alleged that between March 5, 2020, and June 23, 2020, at Georgetown, he conspired with person (s) unknown to commit the common law offence of fraud, to wit, by presenting to GECOM, tables attached to his Election Report dated June 23, 2020, accurately reflected the true results of the said election, in order to materially alter the results of the said election, with intent to defraud, knowing the said tabulation to be false. The last charge stated that between the 5th day of March and 23rd day of June 2020, at Georgetown, in the Georgetown Magisterial District, he conspired with person(s) unknown to commit the common law offence of fraud, to wit, by representing to the Guyana Elections Commission, that tables attached to his Election Report dated 23rd June 2020, accurately reflected the true results of the said election, in order to materially alter the results of the said election, with intent to defraud, knowing the said tabulation to be false.
Lowenfiled was not required to plead to the charges. Lowenfield is being represented by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes and Senior Counsel Neil Boston.
Lowenfield has submitted to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (retired) Claudette Singh a table showing what he deems to be “valid and credible votes cast” in the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
In a letter seen by this publication, Lowenfield said that he has taken note of the guidance of the Court of Appeal in the case of Eslyn David v Chief Elections Officer et al in the preparation of his report pursuant to Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act and providing advice as required by Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana.
What the CEO deems as “valid and credible votes cast” places the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) party in 5,482 lead against its nearest political rival, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
The inflated figures were provided by Clairmont Mingo, the Returning Officer for Guyana’s largest voting district- Region 4.
The national recount proved that Mingo inflated votes in favour of the Coalition and it was the PPP that actually won the March 2 elections by over 15,000 votes.