The United Republican Party (URP) has now joined the many voices in condemning the recent violent attack on Iqbal Rahim, a member of the Team Benschop group that is participating in the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) and other forms of attacks on members of Team Benschop.
Leader of the URP Dr Vishnu Bandhu today stated that both Parties and voters have complained about intimidation and harassment as the campaign heats up for the March 18 local polls.
He stated that posters of opposing camps are being defaced and flags representing various Parties are being pulled down which is similar to what transpired in the lead up to the last General Elections held in May, 2015.
There are media reports of violent attacks on candidates. The URP strongly condemns the violent attack on a candidate and supporters of Team Benschop and all other election related violence and intimidation and the attack on the paraphernalia of parties. Our party was subject to similar abuses and electoral rigging last May when our posters were destroyed and our flags pulled down and destroyed around various parts of the country,” the leader of the URP explained.
As such he is calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to enforce the law and punish culprits responsible for these varied attacks on candidates and destruction of campaign materials of Parties.
According to Dr Bandhu, posters and flags should be ‘untouched until the mandated time’ to remove them which is the day before the LGE.
INews understands that the URP wants both the police and GECOM to ensure a civil campaign and also a free and fair election.
“The URP calls on both bodies to take all necessary measures to protect candidates, supporters of all parties, and the public at large from violence so they can exercise their rights to freely participate in the local government elections. GECOM must not be a mere spectator as happened last May to electoral violations and attacks on candidates or on their campaign materials. GECOM should exercise its authority and sanction those candidates who encourage violence or egg their supporters to intimidate and or perpetrate violence on supporters of opposing camps,” a media statement from the URP Leader today said.