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Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon has formally requested a meeting with Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie to discuss matters related to the Force even as the Opposition has been critical of the recent arrests and charges of primarily of Afro-Guyanese.
The letter to the Commissioner, penned on Harmon’s behalf by Executive Director of the Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton, was delivered on Thursday but did not state specifically what matters they wished to address. “I write on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Joseph Harmon MSM, MP to request an urgent meeting with you to discuss matters relating to the Guyana Police Force, citizens matters et al,” it stated.
The Commissioner was also notified that Harmon would be accompanied at this meeting by Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan; Member of Parliament and former Magistrate, Geeta Chandan-Edmond and Norton. It was requested that the meeting be arranged on or before Monday, September 7, 2020.
Since the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) resumed power on August 2, 2020, several Afro-Guyanese have been dragged before the Courts in relation to charges of alleged electoral fraud and more. The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID has described the events as an “abuse of the police and criminal justice system”. Those brought before the Courts in less than a month include: Former Minister of Youth Affairs, Simona Broomes; former Director of Sports, Christopher Jones; People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Chairperson, Volda Lawrence; District Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo and Chief Elections Officer, (CEO), Keith Lowenfield.
At the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) alone, they include: Assistants, Carolyn Mikhaik Duncan, Sheffern February and Michelle Miller and supervisor at a District Four station during the national recount, Enrique Livan.
Only last week amid the unrest at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice the APNU+AFC Coalition had accused the Guyana Police Force of transforming the peaceful West Coast Berbice village of Belladrum into a virtual “war zone.” Harmon had issued an urgent and immediate call on the Guyana Police Force to immediately cease and desist from inciting and intimidating the peaceful residents of Belladrum,” the coalition said in a release Saturday evening. “It would appear as though Guyana has descended into a police state, no murder or major crime has been committed in Belladrum, why are the police targeting this village?” Mr Harmon said. “Our supporters and the residents of Belladrum are frightened tonight as a result of this massive police presence in the village without any explanation or warning whatsoever,” Harmon had said.