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Lowenfield backs off from trying to block his dismissal from GECOM

Embattled Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield on Monday withdrew an application filed at the Demerara High Court in which he was seeking to block Government-nominated Elections Commissioners Bibi Shadick and Sase Gunraj from voting on a motion brought by them calling for his dismissal.

Lowenfield’s lawyer Nigel Hughes, in withdrawing the case, informed the court that circumstances have overtaken his client’s application. As such, Justice Jo Ann Barlow lifted the injunction she had previously granted which restrained Shadick and Gunraj from voting on the motion pending the court’s ruling which was scheduled for this morning.

In June, Gunraj and Shadick tabled motions calling for Lowenfield’s dismissal.

Among the grounds they cited was that he breached his duties, functions, obligations, and responsibilities regarding the conduct of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections which he is accused of trying to rig in favour of the then caretaker APNU/AFC Government.

Lowenfield, in his application, had contended that he is entitled under the terms of his employment contract and the rules of natural justice to a fair hearing, including the right to not have them participate as arbitrators on the motion.

He had argued that their participation in the deliberations on their own complaint against him infected the deliberation of the Commission with bias.

After the motion was tabled, GECOM Chairperson  Justice (retd) Claudette Singh wrote to Lowenfield asking him to show cause why he should not be dismissed.

Justice Singh later instructed Lowenfield to proceed on annual leave until the election body conducts its investigation and makes a final decision on his employment.

The decision to send him on leave came amid calls to have him dismissed by the PPP/C Government which has made it clear that it has no confidence in him overlooking another elections.

Lowenfield is facing several electoral fraud charges before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

The CEO has been released on cash bail pending the hearing and determination of those matters.