Opposition PPP/C Urges Calm as Supporters Take to the Streets

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Fire officials watering down the streets following fiery protest by PPP/C supporters (CMC Photo)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 6, CMC – The main opposition People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Friday urged supporters to remain “calm and act in a peaceful manner” after they staged a fiery protest in Berbice and along the East Coast as the country awaits the final results of Monday’s regional and general elections.

“I want to urge the supporters of the People’s Progressive Party to remain calm, stay at home, do not break the law,’ PPP’s general secretary Bharrat Jagdeo said in a video statement posted on the party’s Facebook page on Friday.

“I can understand the sense of frustration, the anger in these communities and the fear that the (David) Granger party and administration is trying to steal the elections before our very eyes,” he added.

On Thursday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) released to the media, results for Region Four and if certified would result in the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) defeating the PPP/C by more than 59,000 votes and securing another term in office..

GECOM public relations officer, Yolanda Ward, had forwarded without comment images of Statutory Declaration Form 24. The Form shows the incumbent APNU+AFC securing 136,335 votes while the PPP/C has earned 77,258 a difference of 59,077.

But attorneys representing the PPP/C said they had been able to secure three injunctions from the High Court ordering GECOM to verify the results of Region Four.

Attorney Anil Nandlall told reporters that the that first injunction prevents the Region Four Returning Officer from making any disclosure of the results in that division ““until and unless he complies with the statutory procedures set out in Section 84 of the Representation of the People’s Act”.

In a statement, the PPP/C said that while it understood the “hurt, frustration and fear about electoral fraud being perpetuated against the Guyanese people, we have the solidarity of the international community”.

It said statements have emanated from: the diplomatic community in Guyana; the international election observer missions among others indicating that the results of the elections “cannot be “credibly declared” and there can be no swearing in of a president since such an action would be illegal.

“The PPP agrees with the international community; there can be no swearing in of a new president under the current circumstances. The Party wishes to also warn that public officers, especially constitutional office holders, facilitating such an illegal action would be complicit in the perpetuation of electoral fraud in Guyana.”

Party supporters took to the streets at the Bath Settlement Public Road, West Berbice and Lusignan on the East Coast Demerara in protest at what they said were efforts to rig the elections.

They blocked the road with burning tyres, chanting “Granger must go”.

In the statement, the PPP/C said that it was urging supporters “to ensure that none of their actions are in contradiction with the laws of Guyana” and that they should “stay home and await further guidance from the party”.

Media reports said that in one instance, a school bus was attacked and four children injured.

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