The Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield, has written to the Chairman of GECOM seeking some clarification on her request for him to compile a new report on the election results.
In the letter which carries today’s date, Lowenfield told the GECOM Chair that he has read the judgement of the Caribbean Court of Justice and he needs some clarifications before he goes ahead with the preparation of his final report.
Mr. Lowenfield said the CCJ endorsed the view that the Guyana Elections Commission “cannot determine credibility” and that would therefore mean that the Recount Order cannot be executed in its entirety.
Lowenfield has further asked for guidance on how Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act could be properly operationalised.
He said “of particular relevance are two facts: 1) that the election law envisages that the votes counted, and information furnished’ would be provided by statutory officers and 2) the allocation of seats is premised on the statutory report of the Returning Officers”. According to Lowenfield, it is noteworthy that “the CCJ clearly stated in paragraph 37 that the allocation of seats in the National Assembly and the identification of the successful Presidential Candidate are determined on the sole basis of the votes counted and information furnished by returning officers under the Representation of the People Act.
He reminded that the National Recount was not undertaken by Returning Officers. The CEO added that the CCJ in its opinion also indicated that the Recount Order is in tension with the Constitution of Guyana and could not create a new election regime.
He is asking for guidance on which the results could be lawfully declared.
Lowenfield also told the GECOM Chair that the historic practice of the submission of the elections report to the Chairman has been premised on ascertainment of the result by the Chief Election Officer. He pointed out that the structure of the Chairman’s letter, which he described as a “missive”, suggests a change in operational procedures.
He wants the Chairman to provide clear guidance as to whether the requested report would be premised on the election laws.
News Source understands that the letter is being studied by the Chair and Members of the Commission.