New election chief pledges to work for unity

Newly-appointed as both Chief Election Officer and National Registration Officer, Keith Lowenfield yesterday pledged to strive for “consensus” and “unity” as he undertakes his new roles at the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom).

Lowenfield was yesterday formally introduced to the public in both his capacities  by Gecom’s Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally at a press conference held at Cara Lodge, in

Georgetown.

He was unanimously selected for the positions by Gecom’s seven-member commission on Tuesday and was sworn

From right are Gecom Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally; new Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Gecom commissioners Vincent Alexander,    Mohamood Shaw, Sandra Jones,  Athmaram Mangar and Dr Keshav Mangal.
From right are Gecom Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally; new Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Gecom commissioners Vincent Alexander, Mohamood Shaw, Sandra Jones, Athmaram Mangar and Dr Keshav Mangal.

in yesterday after what has been described as a very lengthy and meticulous procedure. The posts became vacant with the commission’s decision against renewing the contract of Gocool Boodoo last year.

“In any attempt to reach consensus decisions in matters on the commission’s agenda, I will add my contribution and will always undertake this role enthusiastically and energetically,” Lowenfield told reporters.

He said that one of his main duties at Gecom will be to ensure that the staff is and remains united as he believes the commission’s strength lies in employee unity.

He also promised to uphold the dignity and honour of the commission and its Secretariat and to undertake his responsibilities as honestly and diligently as possible.

Lowenfield has over 14 years experience in elections management. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Management. He also has other formal qualifications. He is a specialist in project management, risk and conflict management, general administration and national registration staff training.

Surujbally referred to him as the “point man” on demarcation and delimitation, which is an area of knowledge that he said was critical for the running of local government elections.

According to the job description, the Chief Election Officer and National Registration Officer  is responsible for preparing strategic plans, work programmes, budgets and authorising relevant expenditure as well as review departmental reports and performance audits; provide direction and advice on improvements and the resolution of problems.

The post-holder is also to be responsible for managing the registration of electors, and the conduct of elections of members of the National Assembly, the Regional Democratic Councils and Local Government Authorities, and all national or local referenda in Guyana as well as supervise and monitor the establishment of the National Register of Registrants, from which a voter’s roll may be extracted, and the issuance of National Identification Cards.

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