Jagdeo says caretaker Govt abusing powers to instruct GPF

first_imgThe caretaker coalition administration has been allegedly influencing the operation and management of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) through political interference to achieve some of their objectives.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThis was according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday, stating that officials of the Force would have indicated their dissatisfaction with the Government’s actions and ‘heavy-handed’ methods. This, he noted, occurs on a daily basis.“We have a lot of intelligence that is coming from the Police Force at the senior level, as well as junior level. People are totally dissatisfied with the Government and it is not just the Police but the other Joint Services…They’re very unhappy about the Government’s heavy-handed methods in interfering with Police’s placements, promotion etc; their political interference with the operational management of the Police Force. This takes place on a daily basis,” said Jagdeo.Roads around the Ministry of the Presidency being blocked off by the GPFOn Tuesday, it was chaos in the capital city after all roads leading to the Ministry of the Presidency were blocked off by the Police Force – which said it was instructed to do so to prevent any protests against the Government. Dozens of officers and barricades cordoned off the area, affecting hundreds of commuters who were forced to detour.“The Office of the President is being cordoned off due to anticipated protest action by whatever political party or nongovernmental organisation,” a Police source informed <<>>.The Police Force would have set up road blocks along Vlissengen Road between North Road and Homestretch Avenue, South Road between Oronoque and Vlissengen Road, Charlotte Street between Oronoque St and Shiv Chanderpaul Drive and Regent Road between Shiv Chanderpaul Drive and Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.While no protest actions were planned, the Police source said the roads were blocked “just in case”. Customarily, during protests against the Government, persons would assemble on Vlissengen Road outside of the Ministry of the Presidency.It was unclear why instructions would be given to the GPF to restrict citizens from exercising their democratic right to freedom of expression. The blocking off of the roads ignited the ire of many road users who took to social media, complaining bitterly about how the alleged abuse of authority had inconvenienced them.Commenting on the incident, the Opposition Leader expressed, “It is a tragedy when you have to bring out all of these Police from their families, put them in line just to protect one man who doesn’t respect our Constitution and disadvantage thousands of citizens”.Jagdeo shared that the Government has been pushing the GPF to take actions during protests. He recalled Saturday night’s peaceful candlelight vigil outside of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, where President David Granger was delivering a feature address. There, he claimed that while some Police officers would have heeded instructions, others decided to take a professional stance.This incident resulted in the Police riot squad being called out to stand-off with peaceful protests, and the blocking off of the road, causing a major traffic build-up during the evening rush hour.The protesters, comprising of civil society and supporters of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the current Government. The protesters were also calling on the Head of State to announce a date for elections.“They’ve been pushing the Police to take action. They have to correct this embarrassment…Even that night, some of the people who had the political instructions were trying to escalate things and then there were some other Police who stood up, the professional ones,” he indicated.The current coalition Government has been recognised by the international community and other local organisations as operating outside of international standards of democracy – following its failure to hold elections in accordance with the country’s Constitution.Jagdeo has stated that the protest actions will be kept under review after the President issues a proclamation on the elections date. However, the possibility will remain open.last_img read more