Top Cop calls for “calm” as Appeal Court hands down decisions today

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Police Commissioner Leslie James on Thursday implored that the “current calm, peace and tranquility” should remain throughout the nation as the decisions in the No-confidence Motion appeals are handed down today.

In a statement on Thursday, the Top Cop said the leadership and members of the Guyana Police Force have noted social media notions of a “seeming intention to disrupt the current calm in our society

Commissioner of Police Leslie Albert James, DSS, DSM

“May I warn that anyone found in breach of the law will be dealt with in a condign manner. The Force’s membership throughout the 10 administrative regions is on high alert and endeavours to prevent and respond to any eventuality,” the Top Cop said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday took to social media saying that he has learnt of reports that there are a few officers, “who are repeating to the ranks of the Guyana Police Force the lies, emanating from the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC camp, that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) plans violent protests. I urge those doing this to desist from doing so and to continue to act professionally.”

According to the Opposition Leader, the people of Guyana have a right to peacefully protest the “usurpation of the Constitution by an administration that would be illegal as of midnight tonight (Thursday).”

“I have sought to contact the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, to inform him of these reports and to reiterate the Party’s full support for the Guyana Police Force, in dealing condignly with anyone who is involved in any act of violence, including damage to property,” Jagdeo said.

Protests

While the Opposition plans to organise protest action across the country, Jagdeo said these protests will be peaceful, declaring “we are very different from the PNC (People’s National Congress).”

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We will not burn a single building in the city as they did or anywhere in the country. We will not damage public infrastructure. We will not beat people on the streets or harass them. We will not do anything that will harm our public servants, Policemen and women; soldiers, doctors, teachers from going about their daily business,” he explained.

Rather, the Opposition Leader said, “Our target will be narrowly focused on the illegal President, illegal Prime Minister, and the illegal Ministers. That is where we would focus on. Not to pursue violence against them but to make life very uncomfortable for them who have been occupying offices illegally and violating the Constitution…Who now for their own self-interest will push our country into a crisis which may have implications for territorial integrity putting our country at risk because you want to hang on to power.”

Today, the Court of Appeal will rule on the on all the appeals of the High Courts’ rulings.

Last month, Government asked the Appeal Court to set aside the judgements made by the Chief Justice and filed a series of appeals.

In the first case of AG v Speaker of the National Assembly and Opposition Leader, which deals with the 33 to 32 majority that was used to pass the No-confidence Motion, Williams is arguing that “there was a miscalculation of the majority of all elected members as required under Article 106 (6) of the Constitution for the Government to be defeated on a vote of no confidence”.

Meanwhile, another case was AG v Christopher Ram, who had successfully sought to have the High Court validate the no-confidence resolution and have Government comply with constitutional provisions to demit office and call elections no later than March of this year.

The Chief Justice had upheld both cases, ruling that the no-confidence vote was validly passed, and that Cabinet should have resigned. However, Williams in his appeal is claiming that the Chief Justice made an error in both of these rulings.

In addition, Appeals were also filed by the lawyers appearing for State Minister Joseph Harmon; while a cross appeal was filed on behalf of Christopher Ram and an appeal was also filed on the dual citizenship issue.

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