By Rabindra Rooplall
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is calling for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee in wake of last Tuesday’s shooting of 11 persons with rubber bullets by ranks of the Guyana Police Force.
It also wants its supporters to implement an economic boycott of businesses to show the party’s disappointment in the Statements of Poll (SOPs).
The party is also calling for the Chairman of GECOM Dr. Steve Surujbally and Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Gocool Boodoo to tender their resignation before they are forced to do so by an act of parliament since society has lost confidence in the two individuals.
These were the calls after thousands of APNU supporters from the Youth Coalition for Transformation gathered at the Stabroek Market Square last evening, after a march from Square of the Revolution.
The group was led by retired Brigadier Edward Collins and former police commissioner Winston Felix among others. It also attracted bikers and motorists.
Collectively all of the speakers at the meeting declared that there will be constant marches until their demands on the SOP’s amongst other issues pertaining to a government of national unity are met.
Former Member of Parliament and Attorney at Law Basil Williams said the constitution guarantees citizens the right to demonstrate and to move freely throughout Guyana.
Adding that such a right must be protected, Williams said that under the Public Order Act the commander of the division has the discretion to give permission under the circumstance to provide permit for a demonstration under the stipulated 48 hours. This was not done last Tuesday which resulted in many persons being injured.
“We want the best practices in this country, and we want a Disciplined Services Commission established to investigate what transpired….there needs to be rules of engagement, and make our police force a proper and credible police force.” Williams said.
Prime Ministerial Candidate for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine said November 28, 2011 must be noted as a victory since the back of a one- party rule in Parliament was broken.
He said that when the Alliance For Change and APNU add their seats the opposition clearly controls parliament, and the parliament should represent the people collectively and report to the people of the nation what is being done at the legislative level.
“We have to report to you, we intend to ensure that we use the majority that what goes on in parliament is broadcast on the radio as is done in every Caribbean country so you can check everything that is happening.”
Commenting on the Statements of Poll, he said that the party is not happy with the form in which they were given to the party. These statements were presented in a scanned disk format.
“We want to see the actual statements of poll….we will not rest until we see the actual statements of polls and we can calculate where these votes have gone.”
Roopnaraine, however, noted that another major issue is the blatant pro-government programmes being aired on NCN that residents in Linden have to endure without the input of recommendation by the party.
“We are going to put a few thousand people outside NCN and remind them who are the true owners of NCN.”
Roopnaraine also turned his attention to the recent elected Cabinet officials whom he described as miscreants and mediocrities rolled over from the Jagdeo administration.
“They take a man who is a blasphemer and made him a junior Minister of Finance. The only experience of finance the blasphemer has is counting up collection in church.”
He also said that to add salt to the wounds of the injured persons who were shot last Tuesday, the police dragged himself along over a dozen others before the court yesterday to answer charges of disrupting the peace.
“They adjourned the trial for February 13, 2012…We will have a green pre-Valentine’s day, because we will go in our numbers and turn Middle Street into a sea of green.” Roopnaraine said.
Commending APNU supporter for being peaceful in their protest, Roopnaraine said there was orderliness and discipline and the administration is still surprised that there has not been any damage of property or looting. “That should be commended.”
Former parliamentarian Aubrey Norton said anything that the present administration does that is not in interest of the people, the opposition parties will use their parliamentary majority in the interest of the people.
“Real power is power of the people…this is the beginning of a new struggle. This is a struggle where we will utilize the parliamentary majority and if that is not enough we would have to compliment it by you the people protesting to get what we want.” Norton asserted. “The most powerful institution is not the president, it is not the parliament, it is not the constitution; it is the people.”
The entire APNU officials called for a boycott of Kashif and Shanghai and Hits and Jams since they are perceived to be in support of the present administration.
Kaieteur News Columnist and social activist Freddie Kissoon accused the Chairman of GECOM of stealing the elections, while saying that there were discrepancies at one of the polling stations in Region Five.
APNU representative Lurlene Nestor said that the business community should be boycotted since Guyana currently has a political crisis which needs a political solution.
“This matter will be taken to the UN. When human beings can be shot willy nilly then we have a problem that is a human rights issue…Children from the nearby school were traumatized and nobody from the Human Services Ministry has offered any counselling.”
Miss Nestor added that the party will not give up in its demonstrations since many APNU supporters are being victimized.
She noted that the Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee blamed the recent shooting on a junior rank; however, this is not logical since the Minister has ultimate responsibility and must be held accountable for his actions and inactions.
“We are saying Rohee knows, and since he knows he must go. There is a price for justice and some may have to pay that price…we don’t care; it can’t get worst; we have reached our limit.” Nestor noted.
Various other APNU representatives noted that the Private Sector Commission is more concerned with profits than people and as such the party is enforcing a boycott of the business community.
The party representative promised to continue the March and demonstration since the 19 years of one party rule has divided the country, and because there are pressing issues by Guyanese that needs to be addressed.
Another APNU representative Tabitha Sabaroo said the party is marching for the correct statements of polls, the resignation of Chairman of GECOM Dr. Steve Surujbally and Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Gocool Boodhoo, and a government of national unity.
She also called on persons who faced victimization and who lost their job because they were showing support for APNU to file a report at the victimization desk at APNU’s Regent Street office.
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