Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has called on the Chairman of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Daniel Seeram, to do the “decent thing” and step down from his public post in light of domestic violence allegations against him.
Seeram, an Executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the leading party in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) faction of the Opposition, is being accused of assaulting his wife and brandishing his firearm during a confrontation in the wee hours of Monday.
Both Seeram and his wife are currently on station bail, with charges pending against him.
This is not the first time the Region Four Chairman has been involved in such a matter.
During his weekly press conference on Thursday, Norton, PNCR Leader, was questioned about the matter, and said, “As it relates to the resignation, I think Daniel Seeram understands the nature of what has happened. It is true it is not the first time, and I will leave it to him to do the decent thing.”
The Opposition Leader further outlined the PNC’s zero-tolerance of violence against women.
“We are a party in which there are a lot of women, and we oppose vehemently any attempt to embarrass, assault, or do anything to women,” Norton posited.
However, on Thursday evening, the Opposition Leader was quoted in an article published by the online news agency Demerara Waves recanting his position on the matter. He said the matter should be dealt with by the Guyana Police Force.
“In my opinion, my choice of language was bad. Really and truly, I should first of all say that it continues to be an allegation, and the Police should be allowed to [do] their work, and let’s see where it goes in the legal realm,” the PNCR Leader said.
Based on reports, the incident occurred at about 03:00h on Monday at the couple’s Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara apartment. Seeram had reportedly returned home from an outgoing, and an argument developed between him and his wife. The situation escalated and turned violent, during which the husband and wife assaulted each other. Seeram allegedly brandished his licensed firearm as well during the incident.
His wife filed a report at the Turkeyen Police Station, and following an investigation, advice was obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to charge Seeram.
In March 2022, Seeram was charged and placed on bail for allegedly threatening his father-in-law with a gun at MovieTowne.
Meanwhile, weighing in on the issue, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, has called out the selective activism of several civil society groups, demonstrated in their silence regarding this issue.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference held at Freedom House on Thursday, the General Secretary said Government has remained cautious in its response to the issue, to avoid providing ammunition for the chairman to mislead the public.
“We’ve been very careful about how we intervene. If we had called for the resignation right at the beginning, they would’ve said we were trying to influence the outcome of the court case. He would use our statement to get the kool-aiders to say that the PPP wants to get rid of him. He’ll use it as an excuse, so sometimes we are very tactical about these issues. We don’t want the kool-aiders who will believe anything to start justifying him and supporting him,” the GS pointed out.
Seeram is accused of assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to his wife.
Dr Jagdeo pointed out that this is not the first time Seeram has been embroiled in allegations of this nature. Last year, the former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) captain appeared before the court to answer a charge of threatening behaviour allegedly committed against his father-in-law, Shaheed Hamid.
“It seems as though, in this country, a group of people who have very limited credibility; the Red Thread, the GHRA, etc, I don’t see them protesting in front of his office or his home. But you will recall the issue with Dharamlall. He hadn’t been charged, but they were out there protesting and issuing statements,” he said.
He made it clear the Government believes that persons guilty of these crimes should face the full brunt of the law.