APNU+AFC protesters to be charged for breaching COVID-19 measures

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The Guyana Police Force Thursday said charges will be laid against supporters of the incumbent APNU+AFC who breached the COVID-19 restrictions to protest at various parts of the country on Thursday.

Over 100 Coalition supporters took to the streets of New Amsterdam, Berbice with placards as they protested the decision of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to use the figures from the national recount to declare a winner of the March 2020 elections.

The recently concluded national recount showed the PPP/C beating the APNU+AFC by 15,416 votes paving the way for Irfaan Ali to be sworn in as the ninth executive President of Guyana.

The supporters turned out even though there COVID-19 measures in place that restrict the gathering of more than five persons.

Some of the protesters in New Amsterdam, Berbice

Police Headquarters in a statement said, “Police were able to identify a number of individuals in the gathering and summons are being prepared for charges against them for breach of the National Public Orders Restriction.”

“No permission was granted for anyone to flout the Covid-19 Orders,” the statement added.

Addressing the APNU+AFC supporters in New Amsterdam during the protest, Shurla Scoot, an executive of the Region Six arm of the People’s National Congress (PNC) –the leading party in the Coalition – said, “your presence here helps us understand that you are committed to the process.”

Meanwhile, former Member of Parliament (MP) Barbra Pilgrim appealed to the supporters not to be carried away by posts on social media but to enquire from the party’s office in Region Six to know exactly what is going on.

She continued that initially she was angry that President David Granger had agreed to a recount but she saw the wisdom in his choice when the recount began.

Some of the protesters in New Amsterdam, Berbice [Photo: Andrew Carmichael]
The former Member of Parliament also urged foreigners to stay out of Guyana’s affairs.

Pilgrim, who replaced Charrandass Persaud in the National Assembly in 2019, said Guyanese could handle their own affairs.

The protesters concluded at the PNC regional headquarters in Strand, New Amsterdam where the Guyana Police Force said the crowd was dispersed.

The declaration of a winner of the March 2 elections was again delayed on Thursday as the Chief Elections Officer, who was expected to submit his final report at 13:00h failed to do so.

Lowenfield did not submit his report after he received a Notice of Motion that proceedings had been filed in the Appeal Court.

A Notice of Motion simply informs that a case was filed and has no legal effect restraining or preventing Lowenfield from submitting his report.

The case will be heard at 13:30h on Friday.

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