Guyana: Protesters under fire
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The failed presidential candidate of the opposition grouping, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger, has accused law enforcement officials of “over reacting” after police Tuesday fired tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse protesters demanding an election recount this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
Granger, a retired Brigadier with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), told reporters “there was no reason to use this level of force”.
Initial reports indicated that at least four persons were arrested and a number of people including a 78-year-old woman had been injured.
The protest followed reports that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the house of Presidential Advisor on Empowerment Odinga Lumumba on Monday.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) in a statement said that two Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the house of the politician who is aligned to the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
“The devices struck the bottom western wall of the home, resulting in a small fire that scorched the wall and which was extinguished by the security guard on duty,” the police said, adding that investigations were continuing.
Police said at least eight schoolchildren were taken to the hospital on Tuesday after tear gas wafted into the St. Sidwell’s Primary School that has since closed for the day.
APNU supporters have ever since the November 28 general elections, been staging unauthorised protests in support of their demands for a recount of the votes cast in some areas.
President Donald Ramotar was sworn into office last Saturday at the head of a minority government after the PPP/C failed to get a majority of the seats in the 65-member National Assembly.
The APNU and the Alliance for Change (AFC) control 33 of the seats.