Guyana Police launch elections probe

Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

GEORGETOWN – The Guyana Police Force (GPF) says it has launched a “comprehensive” investigation against the Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield and the Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, in relation to the disputed March 2, 2020 regional and general election.

The police in a brief statement said that it received “formal reports” against the two Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials on Friday and subsequently obtained advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack. The police have no details as to who filed the “formal” reports.

“The DPP has further indicated that in the exercise of powers vested in her, under Article 187 of the Constitution, she will take over the private criminal charges currently pending in the Magistrate’s Court in relation to the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections and its aftermath,” the police added.

Lowenfield, who has been on placed on GUY$450 000 (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) bail, is due to return to a Magistrate’s Court on August 24, after he was accused of charges of misconduct in public office, fraud and conspiracy to commit a felony in the private matters been brought against him  by Desmond Morean and Daniel Josh Kanhai.

On August 14, Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty, adjourned the matter hoping that the DPP would have then decided whether to take over the three private criminal charges against Lowenfield, order that they be continued as private charges or be discontinued.

The police probe against the two electoral officials follows the disputed results of the elections in which the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was declared the winders on August 2, defeating the then ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).