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Police to charge APNU+AFC supporters for breaching COVID-19 orders

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2020, 17:06 by Denis Chabrol

Police on Thursday said they would charge a number of supporters of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) for breaching the COVID-19 orders that provide for physical distancing.

“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,” the Guyana Police Force said.

The civilian law enforcement agency said “no permission was granted for anyone to flout the Covid-19 Orders.”

Police say that Thursday morning a group of persons had gathered along Main Street, New Amsterdam, Berbice in an attempt to conduct a protest march . “The police quickly arrived at the location and dispersed the crowd ,having been told by the Deputy Commander via “loud hailer” that they had no police permission to conduct such activity,” the force said.

However, video and pictures seen by Demerara Waves Online News/ News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM show that the march in New Amsterdam had already moved off and had been accompanied by police.

There was a gathering of about 50 APNU+AFC supporters in the vicinity of Main and Lamaha Streets, Georgetown, which is a short distance from the headquarters of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) where a meeting had been scheduled to consider the results of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

Supporters in the mining town of Linden, in  Region 10 also defied COVID measures to vent their frustration at the intended declaration of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on account of votes tabulated at the national recount.

The coalition supporters are pressing their case for only votes that are untainted by allegations of fraud must be counted.

The coalition is against a declaration of votes including unverified votes without supporting statutory documents to validate how those votes were cast. Forty-nine ballot boxes were found not to contain supporting statutory legal documents to validate the ballots, this accounted for more than 10,000 votes.

GECOM Chairman Retired Justice Claudette Singh had ruled that the commission have no jurisdiction to investigate irregularities and instructed the Chief Elections Officer to prepare his final report based on all votes recounted.

Several weeks ago, supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had been arrested and charged for breaching the COVID-19 orders by picketing outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.