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PPPC accuses oppostion of intimidation

Gail Teixeira and Charles Ramson Jr

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Friday accused A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) of centrally directed intimidation of its campaigners, a charge that the opposition coalition has denied while at the same urging the government to figure out the reason why they are greeted with hostility in some areas.

PPP Assistant Election Agent for Georgetown, Gail Teixeira and party candidate said complaints have been lodged with police about several instances of “centrally” intimidation during the announcement of public meetings, at a public meeting and the erection of party paraphernalia on utility poles. “We have incidents and instances disturbing because of the fact that they are organised. These are not sporadic individuals who love their party to death and want to do something. This is organised and most likely organised centrally,” she said.

APNU+AFC candidate, Volda Lawrence said she was unaware of such incidents and suggested that the reaction by some people might be an indication of how people feel about the government. “The government claims that they have done so much for the people and we must ask ourselves why when they go to these communities why are the the people are reacting in a different manner than a welcoming one,” she said.

Lawrence recalled hearing of an incident in the news and assured that that incident “was not orchestrated or planned by any of the parties in that coalition.”

Major incidents so far, Teixeira said, included the beating up of a man who was wearing a PPPC T-shirt after a public meeting and the pelting of a vehicle in the Sophia area while advertising that a public meeting would have been held on Wednesday.

Teixeira said a report was made to the police and a patrol accompanied the vehicle the following day, causing the APNU supporters to withdraw. She reported that persons then planted APNU flags on the area where the vehicles and podium would have been placed. Eventually, she said, the meeting was called off due to safety concerns. “Were we had gone in as we were scheduled to go in and try to find a space to have a meeting and/or even dare to touch one of the flags, we are of the firm belief that this would have been the opportunity for a serious confrontation in that community,” he said.

Teixeira said the owner of a private residence at Middle Road, La Penitence that has been used as a polling station since 1997 has reported that groups of persons have abused him and  warned that no voting would be allowed there on May 11, 2015.

At Albouystown, she said, a group of persons clad in APNU coloured clothing have walked through the village threatening residents if they vote for the PPPC. Similarly, she charged that people in the Albouystown-Charlestown area are telling people that they cannot be PPPC polling agents or associated with the incumbent party.

Of serious concern to the PPP was not only the interruption of a recent public meeting by PPPC candidates Kwame Mc Coy and Dr. Roger Luncheon but the “vulgar” actions of APNU supporters who stopped cars and even placed a flag in someone’s hand and held it.

PPPC Counting Agent for Georgetown, Charles Ramson Jr. pointedly accused AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan and Freddie Kissoon of abusing him while he was erecting PPPC paraphernalia.

Kisssoon confirmed calling Ramson a “thug” but did not recall using an expletive.

Kissoon said he, Ramjattan, Leon Hunte, Neilson Mc Kenzie and other activists last week Friday (April 10, 2015) had responded to a report that Ramson Jr and others were destroying AFC campaign material. Kissoon claimed there is a photograph showing Ramson Jr removing the material on Sheriff Street.