Is the Chief Elections Officer guilty of misconduct in public office?

first_imgDear Editor,GECOM Chief Elections Officer, Mr Keith Lowenfield is a public officer holding a constitutional post. He has a fiduciary responsibility to discharge his responsibilities in a constitutional, legal, professional, and honest manner. To date, he has failed miserably at doing so. Hot off the heels of Local Government Elections (LGE), and immediately following the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2019, Mr Lowenfield should have moved into full action to organise for National and Regional Elections.In fact, he should have started preparations months ago, immediately following the motion being presented to Parliament on November 15. Instead, we have seen delay, prevarication and every tactic to frustrate the achievement of the constitutional deadline of March 20 to hold elections. By December 22, Mr Lowenfield should have submitted a detailed project plan to hold elections which should have been sent to every Commissioner of GECOM. To date, only a flimsy effort has been attempted. Why are taxpayers’ monies being wasted by such incompetence? Any capable person would have already sent a full and detailed project plan to execute elections by March 20. But not Mr Lowenfield! In my opinion, there is only one explanation—Mr Lowenfield has betrayed his professional and constitutional responsibility.In the circumstances, a full investigation should be launched into the conduct or misconduct of Mr Lowenfield. A professional manager would have presented, not later than two weeks after the motion was presented to the Parliament, a full playbook and project plan on achieving elections at the shortest possible time. So, despite over a month’s delay on having the no-confidence motion debated and over 42 days since that motion being passed (a total of 80 days since the motion was submitted), we are no closer to holding elections by the constitutional deadline. With such high salaries and budgets, Mr Lowenfield is either highly inept or simply a shrewd political operative of APNU/AFC who is abusing his constitutional position to delay elections.Perhaps his visas should be pulled, and criminal charges brought against him for misconduct in public office. I call on Mr Anil Nandlall to consider filing such actions immediately or the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to similarly do.We are now heading into a constitutional crisis and a proper plan to execute the elections by March 20 has not been submitted. All due to Mr Lowenfield. Of course, aided and abetted by the Chairman of the Elections Commission, who was neither fit nor proper, to occupy his position. Together, with APNU and AFC, it is yet another effort to manipulate the process of conducting free and fair elections. Bring on the charges immediately against Mr Lowenfield.Our Private Sector must also act in this regard by lobbying all the observers and diplomatic posts of the apparent misconduct of Mr Lowenfield. Letters to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Commonwealth Secretariat, Caricom, and other major Bodies, are now essential. Otherwise, Mr Lowenfield will continue to operate as an APNU political operative instead of conducting himself and the vast agency – GECOM – that he is responsible for, in a state of preparation to hold elections. After all, LGE elections were just held in November 2018 and all systems were tested and prepared.Let the bells toll. Mr Lowenfield is guilty of misconduct in public office. Start the prosecution. Cancel his visas. Let the world know that Mr Lowenfield is the key person about the plunge Guyana into a constitutional crisis, by failing to have GECOM ready to conduct elections by March 19, 2019.Sincerely,A Grantlast_img read more