Scores of opposition demonstrators took to Kingston, Georgetown this morning to protest the APNU+AFC Party which they deem to be an unconstitutional government. The protest was sparked by the conclusion of a three-month period, during which they assert elections ought to have been held following the validation of its No-Confidence Motion by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The passage of the motion has since crippled the legal arm of the government, with President David Granger, already admitting his discomfort in leading a constrained administration.
The demonstration also comes on the heels of an announcement by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)’s head, Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, that the autonomous body would be ready to conduct elections at the end of February 2020.
Clad in red and armed with placards and bullhorns, demonstrators picketed outside of the Le Meridian Pegasus Hotel, while the Head of State was inside the privately-owned establishment, engaging private sector officials at a luncheon.
Ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were also deployed to the site. They were armed with batons and what appeared to be polycarbonate shields.
Following pressure on the upper section of the hotel’s southern fence, a section of the steelwork collapsed, which forced the ranks in their riot gear, to step in between the protestors and the hotel’s fence.
This arrangement did not sit well with protestors who began to accuse the senior ranks on-site, of protecting an “illegal” government. The situation was brought under control after senior party officials began to lead the crowd into a chorus of chants.
Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo, who was also present, declined to engage the media. He asked that questions be posed to the opposition’s Presidential hopeful, Irfaan Ali.
The Presidential hopeful said that Guyana is in a “full-blown dictatorship”, and promises to continue protesting until the government resigns.
Quizzed on whether the party is happy about Justice Singh’s missive to the President, Ali told the Guyana Standard that the development is “new” and that the party is still in “conversation”.
Following the interview, Ali received a directive from Jagdeo, who said “Stay here. I’m going to the office. Stay here and talk to the people.”
About 13:00hrs, the crowd began to dissipate leaving behind cardboard placards on the ground that had lost their structural integrity after being drenched in the mid-morning downpour. A misplaced upper fence and ranks in riot gear also remained behind as protestors prepared to board buses, cars, vans and canters to presumably return home.