Thursday, September 29, 2022

Guyana Election Officials Bailed On Charges Of Conspiracy To Defraud Voters

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CHIEF Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield; Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers, and Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, were, on Tuesday, released on $100,000 each for allegedly conspiring with each other to defraud electors during the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.

They appeared before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and were not required to plead to the two charges which alleged that between March 2 and August 2, 2020, at Georgetown, they conspired with each other, together with Volda Lawrence, Carol Smith-Joseph, Sherfern February, Enrique Livan, Denise Bobb- Cummings, Michelle Miller and others to defraud the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes for the elections.

After granting bail, the magistrate adjourned the case until September14.

The case was first called on June 19, before Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus, but none of the officials were present in court.

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This resulted in the magistrate adjourning the case.

They and their alleged co-conspirators are currently before the court on several other charges pertaining to electoral fraud and misconduct in public office which were all reportedly committed during the elections.

They are all accused of inflating the results of Region Four – Guyana’s largest voting district – to give the APNU+AFC Coalition a majority win at the polls when in fact, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had won by 15,000 votes.

This dispute resulted in several legal challenges which ended up before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Guyana’s highest appeal court – and a five-month delay in the declaration of the results.

A lengthy recount of the votes eventually declared victory to the PPP/C and Dr. Irfaan Ali was sworn in as the President of Guyana.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C., granted a fiat to attorneys-at-law, Glenn Hanoman, Mark Conway, Ganesh Hira, Arudranauth Gossai and George Thomas, to prosecute the matters on behalf of the State.

Last week, Chairperson of GECOM, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh, sent the trio on paid leave effective June 28.

This will give GECOM enough time to conclude the ongoing discussions regarding their dismissal, within the shortest possible time.

PPP/C-nominated GECOM Commissioners tabled motions seeking the immediate dismissal of Lowenfield, Myers and Mingo on the grounds that they have breached their functions, duties, responsibilities and obligations.

Recently, Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George, S.C., ordered the release of the certified copies of the elections’ Statements of Poll (SoPs) and Statements of Recount (SoRs) to the Commissioner of Police (ag), Nigel Hoppie, and the DPP for use in the prosecution of the cases against the GECOM officials.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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