May 13, 2015 News
The anxieties and sporadic disturbances of the 2015 election period have forced many city businesses into a state of inactivity.
Some proprietors are scared while others quite frankly cannot think about going forward without
knowing who will be leading the economy for the next five years.
The owner of an established clothing store on Regent Street for over ten years said, “Well it is all mixed feelings for me. I am anxious to know who will be the next President, if is Granger or if Ramotar will come back.”
“But it is like the city is dead. I opened from 8:00 hrs and I closed up within two hours because people are not out. Everyone is staying in but I would not waste my time opening today. I really want them to hurry announce the results because it is killing business for me.”
Another downtown businessman said, “Oh my goodness, I am scared and other businesses are afraid of what is going to happen during this time because it is a very serious election. I know Ramotar got much to lose and I saw how they rile up the supporters around the country and then Granger come with this “game changing plan”.
“It is a tight race and people on both sides are ready to fight within the second. But I more worried about what will happen after the results. This entire period is slowing up business though.”
Yesterday, the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Ramesh Persaud spoke to the fact that the business community is very nervous and several have been closed out of caution.
He said that the unrest in Sophia on Monday night has also had an effect on businessmen. On that night, Riot police, backed by soldiers had to defuse an explosive situation in ‘C’ Field, Sophia, after an angry mob torched several vehicles and attacked a pastor’s home in the belief that PPP/C supporters had set up an illegal polling station in the area.
The building was actually a PPPC Command Centre, which had no ballot boxes, as several residents had believed. The Lot 589 ‘C’ Field property which came under attack is owned by Pastor Narine Khublall.
The riot all started because of a rumour, reportedly spread by a passing minibus driver, who claimed that the PPP/C has set up an illegal polling station at the location. As the rumour spread, several angry residents began converging in front of Mr. Khublall’s property, where a PPP banner had been on prominent display for the past two months. The rumour was fuelled by the sight of heightened activity at the house, as the PPP mobilized its supporters to vote.
In all, eight vehicles, including a minibus and three SUVs, one of which belonged to PPP candidate Joseph Hamilton, were destroyed by the time police and army ranks brought the situation under control.
Persaud said that the Commission is disappointed with the incident and it is hoped that the situation does not repeat itself.
USA Charge d’Affaires, Bryan Hunt on the issue, said that it is important that as the nation awaits the results, businesses continue with their work.
“The private sector has an important role to play in the country’s future and it should continue to move forward with operations. I understand the nervousness about security but I would hope that everyone would keep in mind that when the Sophia incident happened, the police responded and it was contained. I think we can take a degree of confidence in that,” Hunt expressed.
His colleague, British High Commissioner, Gregory Quinn said that businesses need to remember that life goes on during and after the election.
Quinn said that “next week, we will all still have to buy chicken” and on that note he urged the business community to not fold during this important time.
Further, only commercial banks, public and private schools and some commercial businesses were found to be open for business yesterday. But the “hustle” that usually characterises the city was evidently absent.
Regent Street, which is the centre of the shopping scene in Georgetown, was clearly a ghost town, as were many other places. Most businesses did not open at their usual hours.
School children were, in some instances, sent home due to the unrest and hostility displayed by some citizens awaiting the results of the 2015 Elections held on May 11.
“My children were sent back home because no one was in school”, one business owner explained.
However, a confident proprietor who was opened yesterday said that, “God is in charge,” and on that note, she will continue to keep her businesses going even though the tension is high.
Jun 18, 2021Kaieteur News – Veteran Guyanese cyclist, Raymond ‘Steely’ Newton, a member of We Stand United Cycle Club is set to compete at New York’s Premiere Professional/Amateur and Community...
Jun 18, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Kaieteur News – Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has lost power in a confidence motion in which the voting... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]