Lawrence, Mingo, others receive copies of SoPs, SoRs to be tendered in electoral fraud cases

The seven persons accused of conspiring to rig the March 2020 General and Regional Elections in favour of the APNU-AFC will each receive copies of the Statements of Polls (SoPs) and Statements of Recount (SoR) that will be tendered into evidence at their trial before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.

Those charged are: Chairperson of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Volda Lawrence; former Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo; APNU-AFC activist Carol Smith-Joseph; GECOM Clerks Denise Bob-Cummings and Michelle Miller; GECOM Elections Officer Shefern February, and Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan.

This morning, a Canter truck loaded with SoPs and SoRs was parked outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Special Prosecutor Darshan Ramdhani has since informed the court that the accused persons will each receive a disc containing a video recorded interview they had with Police detectives.

Keith Lowenfield

The case has been adjourned to December 17, 2021, for report. Thereafter, a date will be fixed for the Case Management Conference(CMC). Mingo and Lawrence are being represented by Attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes, Ronald Daniels, and Konyo Sandiford, while the other accused have retained Senior Counsel John Jeremie, Eusi Anderson, and Latoya Roberts.

According to former Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield’s report, the then caretaker APNU-AFC Coalition gained 171,825 votes and the PPP/C 166,343 votes at the 2020 national elections. Lowenfield is also facing several charges of misconduct in public office in relation to those elections.

But how he arrived at these figures is a mystery since the national recount of all ballots which was supervised by a high-level team from CARICOM revealed that the PPP/C won the elections having obtained 233,336 votes while the coalition garnered 217,920.

The recount also showed that Mingo inflated the votes for Region Four- Guyana’s largest voting district in favor of the APNU-AFC. The DPP has since hired a team of Special Prosecutors consisting of about six Attorneys-at-law to prosecute these electoral fraud matters on behalf of the State.