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– coalition warns against harrassment
Chairman of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Volda Lawrence will meet with ranks of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) on Monday as the Guyana Police Force continues its investigations into allegations of electoral fraud believed to have been committed during the controversial 2020 General and Regional Elections.
Initially, Lawrence was expected to submit herself to the police on Saturday (October 10) at around 16:00hrs but the meeting was postponed to Monday, October 12, 2020 following objections by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), for which PNC/R forms a major part.
“This sudden and unnecessary demand for Ms. Lawrence to present herself at the CID Headquarters, late on a Saturday afternoon, must be seen for what it is – psychological terrorism against the APNU+AFC leadership, activists and supporters,” the coalition said in a statement.
But Assistant Commissioner of Police Royston Andries-Junor, in setting the record straight, explained that Lawrence’s Attorney, Nigel Hughes was contacted by the police with the view of inviting his client to the CID Headquarters at Eve Leary, Georgetown, so as to put an allegation to her in relation to the ongoing investigation.
According to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, it was Hughes who had contacted the police investigators and requested the exercise of their discretion to allow for Lawrence to appear at 16:00hrs instead.
“The Police investigators had no difficulty in acceding to the Attorney’s request and so the time for Ms. Lawrence to report to the CID location in the company of her Attorney was duly re-scheduled as requested,” Andries-Junor explained, while accusing the APNU+AFC of misrepresenting the facts of the matter.
But the APNU+AFC, in its statement, not only questioned the timing but the motive behind having Lawrence appear before the police yet again. The coalition was keen on pointing out that the PNC/R Chair was previously charged by the police and placed before the court, and has since been placed on bail for charges which the party describes as baseless, spurious and trumped up.
“It is evident that there is a plan to detain Ms. Lawrence as others have been detained previously,” the coalition said. The CID’s request came one day after the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, (DCEO), Roxane Myers was placed before the court and charged with two counts of misconduct in public office. However, ahead of her Court appearance, Myers was detained by the police, and made to sleep in the lock-ups.
APNU+AFC said the unmistakable intensification of the psychological terrorism on the leadership of the APNU+AFC Coalition by the PPP regime and their complicit agents in the Guyana Police Force will not be tolerated.
“This latest devious and abominable action by the PPP regime further crystallises that they are horrified and frightened by the APNU+AFC Coalition’s elections petitions which they know they will lose and will result in their removal from government which they temporarily occupy. They are attempting every desperate tactic to thwart the hearing of the election petition,” the coalition said.
It further stated that the actions of the PPP/C Administration and its agents in the Guyana Police Force are intended to incite the APNU+AFC supporters and the wider Guyanese public. “Their actions are meant to cause public strife and discord and are part of a clear plan to attack, intimidate, persecute and oppress Afro-Guyanese who are perceived to be supportive of the APNU+AFC Coalition. The PPP is instigating and fuelling ethnic strife and confrontation in Guyana,” the coalition said while noting that those taken into custody is of one ethnicity.
The coalition warned that a continuance of this physiological terrorism could have serious consequences, and the PPP/C should desist with immediate effect. “The APNU+AFC Coalition demands that the PPP immediately desist from these actions and should it fail to adhere to our demands it will suffer the consequences of retaliatory measures which the APNU+AFC Coalition will be left with no alternative but to pursue,” the coalition said.
It is also calling on Guyanese, CARICOM, the United Nations and the international community to take note that Afro-Guyanese are under attack in Guyana by the PPP/C. The coalition said the regional and international communities cannot turn a blind eye to the manner in which the Government has weaponized the Guyana Police Force against the APNU+AFC leadership, activists and supporters.