Guyana Politics: Hooliganism and lawlessness will not be tolerated – President

A scene from the protest yesterday (Terrence Thompson photo)

President David Granger today said that every lawful measure will be taken to guarantee the safety of Ministers of Government and to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the country.

He made the statement in a Ministry of the Presidency release today on the protests by the opposition PPP outside the Pegasus Hotel yesterday.

A statement by the Ministry of the Presidency follows:                 

The Ministry of the Presidency has taken note of the hooliganism and thuggery displayed by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and its supporters and associates, on Thursday, September 19 2019, outside and inside the Pegasus Hotel, where President David Granger was the guest speaker at the annual Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s business luncheon.

The lawlessness exhibited is not akin to a democratic political protest, but rather was a display of gross disrespect for the President, his Office, the Government and the occasion that was being held at the time.

Peaceful and civilised protest action is common in any democracy, but it becomes a sign of worry when a Presidential Candidate and a former President, who is a constitutional office holder, seek to incite violence against the sitting Head of State and Ministers of the Government, during the execution of their official duties.

The events of Thursday, goes against our country’s Social Cohesion agenda and serve as a reminder that we have to safeguard our democracy.

Holding the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings hostage in her vehicle for over half an hour and blocking the smooth ingress of Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson, all while hurling threatening and foul remarks, are entirely unacceptable and should also be condemned by all right-thinking Guyanese.

The President assures all Guyanese that every lawful measure will be taken to guarantee the safety of Ministers of Government and to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the country.

The Opposition’s undemocratic behaviour and its continuous threats to peace and stability, has no place in this society and will not be tolerated.

The President is committed to holding credible elections in the earliest time possible, in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution and based on the guidance given by the Guyana Elections Commission.
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  • guyaneseonline  On September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    PPP supporters disrupt Granger’s address at luncheon
    Posted by: Denis Chabrol in Demerara Waves
    September 19, 2019

    Several People’s Progressive Party (PPP) supporters on Thursday heckled President David Granger and raised placards as he delivered an address on the political situation to a private sector luncheon.

    Senior police officers, including Divisional Police Commander Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman persuaded the protesters to leave the Essequibo Room at the Pegasus Hotel.

    While the protesters, including Juan Edghill, Peter Ramsaroop and Nigel Dharamlall came prepared to protest because they had neatly written placards, the boisterous protest was triggered when Granger remarked that he had moments earlier experienced a bit of “hooliganism”. He was apparently referring to a protest by about 120 PPP supporters outside the Pegasus Hotel.

    Edghill, Nandlall and others chanted “illegal government” for a sustained five minutes. The President sought to endure the protest but eventually discontinued his address until the situation was brought under control.

    Business executive, Ramesh Dookhoo moments later urged the protesters to respect the event that was organized by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association.

    Earlier Thursday, PPP supporters accosted Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson as he sought to enter the Pegasus Hotel for the event.

    As the President remarked, Thursday’s episode was similar to one the opposition PPP lawmakers had staged while he had addressed the Parliament.

  • Linda  On September 20, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    This should come as no surprise as Jagdeo’s intent is to cause as much disruption and discord between now and election day. He pays these protesters to come out dressed in red shirts and to create a raucous. Food and drinks are served when it’s all over. I’m sure we will see more of this as the country moves toward election day, which, according to a letter sent to President Granger from Justice Singh, is now set to be around the end of February, 2020.

  • guyaneseonline  On September 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Jagdeo, Irfaan Ali sought to “incite violence”against President Granger, ministers; “hooliganism and thuggery” will not be tolerated – President’s office

    Posted by: Denis Chabrol – Demerara Waves – September 20, 2019

    Photo: Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson being accosted by People’s Progressive Party supporters as he attempted to enter the compound of the Pegasus Hotel.

    The Ministry of the Presidency on Friday accused Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali of inciting violence against President David Granger and government ministers, actions the government deemed as intolerable “hooliganism and thuggery”.

    “Peaceful and civilised protest action is common in any democracy, but it becomes a sign of worry when a Presidential Candidate and a former President, who is a constitutional office holder, seek [sic] to incite violence against the sitting Head of State and Ministers of the Government, during the execution of their official duties,” the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement.

    Against the background of threats by Jagdeo to continue targeting Granger with peaceful protests wherever he goes, government vowed that such actions would not be tolerated.

    The Ministry of the Presidency says it has taken note of the hooliganism and thuggery displayed by the Opposition PPP and its supporters and associates, on Thursday, September 19, outside and inside the Pegasus Hotel, where President David Granger was the guest speaker at the annual Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s business luncheon.

    The Ministry of the Presidency hinted that security for government ministers and the President would be beefed up. “The President assures all Guyanese that every lawful measure will be taken to guarantee the safety of Ministers of Government and to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the country. The Opposition’s undemocratic behaviour and its continuous threats to peace and stability, has no place in this society and will not be tolerated,” the statement added.

    Riot police, equipped with shields and batons, were deployed outside the Pegasus Hotel where Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karen Cummings were blocked and chased by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) supporters when they attempted to enter the Pegasus Hotel compound for a Business Luncheon organised by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GMSA).

    “Holding the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings hostage in her vehicle for over half an hour and blocking the smooth ingress of Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson, all while hurling threatening and foul remarks, are entirely unacceptable and should also be condemned by all right-thinking Guyanese,” the Ministry of the Presidency said.

    Inside the Pegasus Hotel, the President’s speech to the luncheon was disrupted by chanting PPP supporters that the government is “illegal”.

    “The lawlessness exhibited is not akin to a democratic political protest, but rather was a display of gross disrespect for the President, his Office, the Government and the occasion that was being held at the time,” the government said.

    The intensified protests by the PPP came the same day the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union jointly stated that the David Granger-led administration breached the constitution by not paving the way for general elections to be held before September 18. In its current state, the diplomatic missions said it would be difficult for assistance to be provided to Guyana.

    “We deeply regret that, by surpassing September 18, the Government is currently in breach of the Constitution following its failure to adhere to the decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on 18 June and its subsequent orders. This situation comes at great cost to the people of Guyana.

    The prevailing political uncertainty undermines Guyanese institutions, compromises economic opportunities and delays development across all areas including infrastructure, education, health, and social services. It also hinders our ability to support Guyana’s development needs.,” they said in a joint statement,” the envoys here said.

    Canada did not enjoin them in that statement.

    The President reportedly says he is committed to holding credible elections in the earliest time possible, in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution and based on the guidance given by the Guyana Elections Commission.

    Before resuming his address at the luncheon, the President indicated that protests such as the one he was subjected to could have a ripple effect. “I hope that the intellectual authors of the disorder would be able to stop what they have started.”

    Jagdeo interpreted Granger’s remark as a threat but he said he was not bothered by it and that the President would continue to be a target of peaceful protests wherever he goes. “I think he meant it as a threat but we’re not worried about your threats, Granger. Let me make that clear. We are not an illegal about an illegal caretaker President who is squatting in office so I don’t give a damn about your threat,” he said.

    “We are never going to get into violent protests that will harm innocent people and ordinary Guyanese people…but we will target the person who is acting illegally and so Granger , wherever he shows up, wherever he goes he is going to be met with protests that will point out and disruptions that will say to him… that ‘we are not going to be violent but will not tolerate dictatorship in this country’,” he said.

  • Kman  On September 25, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Too bad President Granger did not think about the law when he was rigging and getting rid of ballot boxes, under Forbes Burnham.

    I do not agree with the PPP tactics. There is a low degree of law and order in Guyana.

  • Tata  On September 29, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Get over it Kman, you CRY BABY! … Again, unless you have selective memory and think Guyanese have forgotten the 23 years of MACABRE rule by the PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY? EH! …I’ll rather steal votes than have HUMAN Blood on my hands.

    Also, don’t forget, your government was the judge, jury and executioner of people who spoke out and stood-up to the authoritative practice by those who believe Guyana is an inheritance, WILLED to them by the colonial Usurpers.

    Thank goodness for the military discipline President Granger displayed against this ghoulish Crowd. Again, Guyana cannot return to those dark ugly days of Augusto Pinochet rule.

    • Ken Persaud  On September 30, 2019 at 4:02 am

      Tata to k-man: ‘Guyana cannot return to those dark days (of PPP rule) …”

      Well Sir/Madam: You have clearly forgotten those darker days of Burnham that sent most vulnerable Guyanese fleeing to distant lands for their lives, when people were literally starving, when the Dictator banned so many food staples. Also, don’t forget the race-Baer violence, the looting, the burning, the butchery of so many innocent people. Yes, Guyana cannot go go back to those dark, ugly days.

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