New charges laid against Guyana’s chief elections officer

Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, was on Monday granted GUY$300,000 bail after he appeared in court on new charges arising from the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.

Lowenfield has been charged with three counts of misconduct in public office and three charges in relation to forgery. He was granted GUY$50,000 bail on each of the charges. He will return to court on October 23.

His attorney, Nigel Hughes, told reporters his client had earlier surrendered to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters and later taken to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court where he was formally arraigned.

Last month, a case of fraud against Lowenfield was adjourned to October 26.

He is facing charges of misconduct in public office, conspiracy to commit a felony, and fraud arising from the country’s local and general elections that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said was won by the main Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) after a national recount had been undertaken and supervised by a three-member Caribbean Community observer team.

Lowenfield was granted bail in the sum of GUY$150,000 on each of the three charges that were filed privately on June 30 by Desmond Morian of the PPP/C and Josh Kanhai of the smaller Opposition, The New Movement party.

Lowenfield is alleged to have interfered with the outcome of the elections even after a court ruling that he formally submit the results obtained from an official national recount.