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WPA says will abide by court decision; condemns PPP for stoking unrest

The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) — one of the parties in the governing APNU+AFC coalition — on Tuesday said it would abide by the High Court’s ruling on whether the Region Four election results should be verified or declared, even as it reiterated its historical call for power-sharing.

“In the circumstances WPA deliberately refrains from commenting on the matters before the court. A fair comment must await a comprehensive observation and analysis of all the evidence from all sides of the political spectrum. It is against that background that we pledge to abide by the ruling of the court and let the rule of law guide us to safer territory,” the WPA said.

That party laid blame on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for the pockets of unrest in its strongholds including Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, where children were travelling in buses when protesters broke the windshields. A number of policemen were chased out of the village and beaten when their munitions ran out. One of the protesters was shot dead by police when he was seen chopping two other lawmen.

“We must implore on the major actors, particularly the PPP to retreat from the naked aggression that has characterized the events of the past week. The storming of GECOM’s (Guyana Elections Commission’s) command center was a form of “militaristic” intervention that has compromised that party’s claim as an untainted actor. We are appalled that those, including the diplomatic community and the international and local observers, who are seemingly fixated on the purity of the elections have ignored that grave incident.

The orchestrated protests by the PPP which followed that action at GECOM cannot be dignified as demonstrations in defence of democracy. There is nothing democratic when schoolchildren, law enforcement officers and other innocent citizens are intentionally targeted for extreme violence. WPA is convinced that those mindless attacks were not the outcomes of spontaneous action—they are part of a well-planned campaign of intimidation,” the WPA said.

The PPP and a number of its leaders — Frank Anthony, Anil Nandlall, Ganga Persaud, Bharrat Jagdeo — have all urged their supporters to be calm.

Expressing “concern” about the developments in Guyana since the March 2, 2020 general elections, the WPA said the multi-ethnic covenant that has held Guyana together since emancipation is at stake.

Highlighting the WPA’s historical call for a government of national unity to avoid racial domination, that party said people inside and outside of the A Partnership for National Unity and  Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition must take some of blame for the election being perceived as a straight ethno-political fight between the two major parties. “WPA’s attempts to alter that narrative was clearly not as successful as we wanted it to be. Our considered view is that the situation warrants a radical intervention to restore some semblance of cohesion,” that party said.

The WPA urged the international community and other observers to do everything in their power to avoid the trap of being played to engage in overt and covert partisan entanglement. “It would be helpful in the long run if these international observers confine themselves to the internationally accepted role of neutral observers. National reconciliation cannot be easily achieved if one side feels a sense of victimhood,” the party said.