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LJP calls on GECOM Chair to dismiss Lowenfield

Lenox Shuman, Leader of the LJP
Lenox Shuman, Leader of the LJP

Citing a series of allegations, the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) has written GECOM Chair Claudette Singh calling for the immediate dismissal of Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield.

LJP is one of the parties that contested the March 2nd elections and based on the recount results will hold one seat in Parliament in association with two other parties.

The letter to the GECOM Chair by LJP Leader Lenox Shuman follows:

 Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh

Chairwoman of GECOM

41 High and Cowan Streets

Georgetown

Guyana

 Dear Madam Singh

Re: Relieving Chief Elections Officer Mr Keith Lowenfield of office

The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) hopes that you are well and in good health and wishes to commend you for your circumspect approach to the legal manoeuvres that have overtaken the elections process.

In relation to the above subject matter, the Liberty and Justice Party is hereby requesting the immediate dismissal of Mr Lowenfield from the post of Chief Elections Officer.

Over the last four(4) months, Mr Lowenfield has conducted himself in a manner that does not command the confidence of the public and continues to demonstrate no degree of respect for the electorate, the Guyanese people nor the structures and institutions that were meant to protect and safeguard the will of the people.

The LJP lists herein, the various acts of/by Mr Lowenfield that have contributed to the complete and absolute loss of confidence in him (Mr Lowenfield):

1.       Gross negligence with regards to the safeguarding of elections documents

2.       Failing to provide clear written instructions to the Presiding Officers on Polling day with regards to safeguarding documents and which documents to seal within the poll boxes3.       Deliberately declining to disclose the statement of polls (SOP’s) to the Commission, the Parties, the Court and the Public

4.       Knowingly and recklessly providing an elections report on 5 March 2020 based on and containing false, inaccurate and fraudulent information declared by Mr Clairmont Mingo

5.       Lack of Impartiality and demonstrating an APNU bias

6.       Attempting to invalidate votes AFTER the SOR’s and Official Certificates of Tabulation for the 10 Administrative Regions have been issued

7.       Wilfully attempting to disenfranchise 115 000+ voters by wanting to invalidate said number of votes (this represents approximately 25% of the entire Guyanese electorate amounting to more votes than have ever been invalidated in the collective 54 years history of Guyana)

8.       Exercising authority that is not vested in him and beyond his remit in interpreting the Appeal’s Court Ruling and acting contrary to said court orders

9.       Providing a report of the 2 March 2020 Elections recount contrary to the directions of the Commission

10.   Gross insubordination and acting contrary to the directions of the Chairwoman and the Commission

11.   Obstructing officers of the court from service and their duties i.e. evading lawful service of court documents and complete disregard for same

12.   He is currently the subject of three (3) separate criminal charges in the High Court relating to Electoral Fraud.

Madam Chair, the above are all matters of public records and are widely known by all Political Parties, the international community and the Guyanese people. The office of the CEO is one that must command the confidence of not only Guyanese and Guyana, but also that of the global community that we live in. The office of the CEO is the anchor to the vanguard of democratic institutions. That the Chief Elections Officer clearly demonstrates a bias, we are resolute in our view that the CEO, Mr Keith Lowenfield, has completely and absolutely lost the confidence of the Guyanese electorate, and we believe the above as laid out provide undisputable grounds for Mr Lowenfield’s immediate removal/termination from his post as CEO and for his expeditious replacement with a candidate more amicable to the terms and operations of law abiding statutory officers in democratic institutions.

To close, we respectfully ask that the commission revisit the actions that have drawn these elections to this point and Article 162(b) of the Constitution of Guyana and act in accordance with the will of the people that have been reaffirmed through the recount process of the 2 March 2020 Elections.

We thank the commission for its time and we look forward to the long overdue close of the electoral process.

Most Sincerely

Lenox Shuman

Leader – LJP

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2...-dismiss-lowenfield/

Last edited by Django
Original Post
@Django posted:

How come Gocool Budhoo wasn't jailed for electoral fraud ,taking a seat away from AFC and give the PPP ?

I believe I miss the court proceeding. Did AFC take legal action against this?

@Django posted:

How come Gocool Budhoo wasn't jailed for electoral fraud ,taking a seat away from AFC and give the PPP ?

That is a figment of your imagination. How did he take away a seat from the AFC? The last seat was given to the party with the highest fraction.  There was a specific number of votes allocated for one seat.  Every party had a small number of votes that did not equal to one seat. The PPP had the highest fraction of that seat.  Do the Arithmetic. That wasn't a fraud.

A Fraud is a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.  What did Gocool get?

@Ramakant-P posted:

That is a figment of your imagination. How did he take away a seat from the AFC? The last seat was given to the party with the highest fraction.  There was a specific number of votes allocated for one seat.  Every party had a small number of votes that did not equal to one seat. The PPP had the highest fraction of that seat.  Do the Arithmetic. That wasn't a fraud.

A Fraud is a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.  What did Gocool get?

Please review what exactly happened ,Gocool Budhoo took the seat from AFC and gave the PPP ,AFC had the higher number of votes for the seat.

@Django posted:

Please review what exactly happened ,Gocool Budhoo took the seat from AFC and gave the PPP ,AFC had the higher number of votes for the seat.

Saying it doesn't make it right.  Show the results.

@Former Member posted:

@ Django, can you show us evidence if that court case against Budhoo. I cannot find same.

A F C loses petition battle for seat at last elections

http://guyanachronicle.com/201...at-at-last-elections

Feb. 17 2010

Dismissed because of non-compliance of technical requirements
PETITIONER Walter Melville of the Alliance for Change (AFC), who had petitioned the Court alleging among other things, that his party was robbed of the Linden seat, lost his court battle on a technical ground yesterday.
Agreeing with Attorney-at-Law, Mr. Anil Nandlall, for Mr. Donald Ramoutar, representative of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, one of the six respondents, the Acting Chief Justice found that there was non-compliance to the technical requirements which the court found to be mandatory and fatal.
In the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature, the Petitioner questioned an election to the National Assembly under the National Assembly (validity of elections) Act Chapter 104.
The Elections were held on August 28, 2006.
Replying to submissions  made for and on behalf of the Petitioner, Lawyer Anil Nandlall said, “In the oral submissions I previously made in these proceedings,  I emphasized that when the High Court is dealing with an election petition, it is exercising  a special jurisdiction. I submitted that in the exercise of this special jurisdiction, the court is not possessed of the inherent and residuary power and discretion with which it is endowed when it exercises its common law or equitable jurisdiction.
The Petitioner’s submissions contain a detailed discussion on whether the provisions of the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act Chap. 104 (as they pertain to elections petition) are mandatory or directory.
Referring to another case, Mr. Nandlall went on to submit, “The fact that no evidence has been heard does not affect the general principle. The court in the present case did not refuse jurisdiction, it decided in its peculiar jurisdiction that the petitions were defective.  As a result, the petitions were dismissed.   A dismissal based on a procedural matter is nonetheless a decision in an election petition, even where the matter has not proceeded to the hearing of evidence”
On the question of service, Mr. Nandlall had submitted, “ It is respectfully submitted that not only was there non-service of the notice of presentation of the election petition and notice of the nature of the proposed security, the election petition was served outside of the time  prescribed for service thereof as provided for by rule 9 (1) of the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Rules, further no affidavit of Service has been  filed stating the time and manner of service as required by rule 9 (5) of the said rules
“From the court’s flyleaf, the election petition was presented on the 6th November, 2006, and served on the 23rd day of November 2006, as per the Marshal’s return of service, that is, outside of the five days period prescribed.
“As I have submitted earlier, non-compliance with these statutory requirements, though formal in nature, are fatal in respect of elections petition.
“In conclusion, having regard to the several non-compliances which afflict this petition, I respectfully submit that the petition is incurably bad and I respectfully urge this Court to dismiss the same with costs.”
After the dismissal of the petition for causes similarly requested by Mr. Nandlall, Attorney-at-Law Mr. Stephen Fraser gave notice of Appeal.


AFC election petition case begins anew

Counsel for Ramotar alleges procedural flaws

The long-delayed Alliance For Change (AFC) election petition case over a Region 10 parliamentary seat came up for hearing before Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang yesterday after sitting undetermined in the High Court for three years.

Challenging the AFC on what he argued was its failure to meet certain preconditions in the filing of the petition, attorney Anil Nandlall, said the party flouted a number of procedural requirements and called on the court to declare the petition a nullity and or alternatively, strike it out.

The AFC petition had been originally filed in 2006 following the general elections. Chief Justice Chang recently set a date for hearing and indicated a readiness to have the matter determined.

Justice Chang yesterday questioned whether Nandlall’s preliminary points on procedural flaws speak to the validity of the petition or the court’s jurisdiction. But the attorney said that he was outlining the breaches to point to non-compliance with the rules and hence invalidity.

Nandlall, who has entered an appearance for PPP General Secretary Donald Ramotar [the representative on the party list of candidates], raised the issue of procedural breaches in his preliminary submissions and argued extensively that the AFC’s petition lacks legality. Ramotar was present in court yesterday.

Nandlall argued that requirements as set out in the National Assembly Validity of Elections Act Chapter 1:04 and specific appended rules which were cited had not been followed. The petition was filed outside of the period stipulated, counsel said, arguing it fell short by one day. He contended that the party also failed to serve a notice of presentation of petition on the respondent Ramotar as well as a notice of security for costs. No affidavit of service of the petition was filed, Nandlall said, adding “none has been filed onto today”. He continued, “What may appear to be trivial procedural requirements actually carry fatal consequences for the petition”.

Further, Nandlall argued that the specific petition before Justice Chang invoked a special jurisdiction of the court as expressly created by Article 163 of the Constitution. He said that arguments may be raised about the breaches having no effect on the essential issues of the petition, but contended that in its special jurisdiction the court ought to consider the impact of such breaches.

Senior Counsel Ashton Chase, who is appearing for GECOM, was expected to submit his preliminary objections yesterday, but instead he informed the court through written correspondence of his unavoidable absence. AFC attorneys led by Stephen Fraser are expected to respond following Chase’s submissions.

It would be the second time that the High Court is hearing the AFC’s election petition.  The case was initially heard by then Chief Justice Carl Singh but no decision was handed down, and later became tangled up in the backlog of High Court cases. The case file also went missing earlier this year and Justice Chang had called on the AFC to reconstruct the file for fresh proceedings to begin – the party agreed but the file was later found.

AFC member Walter Melville filed the petition on behalf of the party concerning the Region Ten parliamentary seat shortly after the 2006 general elections.

The AFC has said publicly there had been no determination of the Region Ten seat following the 2006 elections though it possessed certified statements of poll showing that the party had won the seat.

Party leader Raphael Trotman said the party had won more votes than the People’s Progressive Party/Civic in Region Ten. He added that the seat should have therefore been assigned to the AFC.

Trotman noted that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) made an announcement that the PPP/C had won the seat following the elections and that Prime Minister Samuel Hinds was named as the elected PPP/C representative for the seat.

He said too that Chairman of GECOM, Dr Steve Surujbally then acknowledged that there was a miscalculation. The AFC filed its election petition soon after when it was made known that GECOM could not legally change any announcements that it had publicized, and that the result could only be ordered changed in a court of law.

@Django posted:

They did ,the case was heard  about two years after the petition .

@Former Member posted:

And Gocool Budhoo was found guilty of electoral fraud?

My bad the petition was dismissed 4 yrs after.

Fresh proceedings to start in AFC elections petition case

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2...tions-petition-case/

January 20, 2009

But he noted that the mistake was discovered shortly after, and that Chairman of GECOM, Dr Steve Surijbally then acknowledged that there was a miscalculation, and had accepted that his office erred. It was stated then that the “stress” that some GECOM employees were working under resulted in the error.

According to Trotman, Surijbally had also stated that at no time did GECOM made any attempts to subvert the democratic process, but the AFC filed its election petition soon after when it was made known that GECOM could not legally change any announcements that it had publicized, and that it can only be changed in a court of law.

@Former Member posted:

Good, we establish a court case, and it was dismissed by the High Court. 

Mr Django, why should Gocool Budhoo be jail for electoral fraud as you claimed.

Different strokes for different people.

The original announcement stands the tally cannot be changed.  33 will always be greater than 32. Isn't that right Totabhai? The PPP won by 15336 votes, Lowenfield cannot change the outcome by stealing more than 115,000 votes. This is not about 2011 or 2015. It is about 2020. You cannot Condonned Mingo and Lowenfield inconsistencies because the PNC rigged the Elections between 1968 and 1985 inclusive.

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