The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) says that it notes with growing concern the “increasingly hostile and aggressive posture taken by members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) against representatives of political parties and accredited observers.”
The GCCI said that members of its electoral observer team were present on the evening of March16th 2020, at the compound of the Arthur Chung International Conference Centre (ACICC) when a group of accredited observers and party agents who had convened a peaceful gathering outside of the building were confronted by riot police and forced to leave the premises.
“The GCCI can confirm that the observers and party representatives
who attempted to question and gain clarity on the orders were subsequently threatened with incarceration.The GCCI condemns all attempts of intimidation by the GPF as such actions set an uncomfortable precedent for the treatment of those involved in elections observation, and also brings the GPF’s professionalism and impartiality into question,” the Chamber noted.
The GCCI is now calling on all parties involved to exercise restraint and refrain from interfering with or compromising the independence and integrity of the electoral process and to act only in a legal framework in accordance with the law.
“Acts of intimidation targeted towards accredited observers and party representatives and attempts of overt political interference in the work of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) must be openly denounced by all right-thinking political actors as such actions threaten to weaken and undermine democracy in Guyana,” the Chamber concluded.