July 3 attack aimed at overthrowing govt
- Rohee tells Parliament
Urges PNC/R MPs to return
July 11, 2002
Foreign Trade Minister Clement Rohee yesterday told Parliament that the July 3rd attack on the presidential complex by protesters was intended as an attempt on President Bharrat Jagdeo’s life and to overthrow the government and he called on the PNC/R to return to the National Assembly to fulfil the mandate of those who voted for it.
Delivering a statement to Parliament yesterday in the absence of PNC/R MPs who are boycotting sittings because of the impasse with the government over a range of issues, Rohee charged that PNC-organised protesters had launched the attack on the presidential complex. The PNC REFORM (PNC/R) is maintaining that it had nothing to do with the assault on the Office of the President in which protesters broke into the compound, ransacked offices and threatened staff. Two protesters were shot dead by guards and an orgy of looting, rioting and arson followed on the streets of Georgetown. The PNC/R has acknowledged that it had mobilised its supporters to participate in the march, a section of which broke away and invaded the presidential compound.
Rohee expressed the thanks of the government to the security forces “for thwarting an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government. They continue to maintain their high standard of professionalism” He also welcomed the condemnations of the attack that came from CARICOM Heads who were meeting in Georgetown at the time and the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. He said that their statements showed that the “era of violence, extra-parliamentary behaviour and unconstitutional acts will not be condoned by the international community”.
Rohee recalled that on May 24 there was an attempt by PNC/R supporters and others to block Parliament and deny access to MPs. “We have seen that some of the individuals from the PNC/R involved in that disgraceful act were also involved in the illegal marches and the subsequent storming of the Office of the President on July 3, 2002”.
The minister said that these actions “clearly illustrate the illegal and unparliamentary and terroristic behaviour and intentions of certain elements in the PNC/R”.
He added that if the PNC/R was interested in nurturing democracy and the progress and prosperity of all Guyanese then it must rid itself of violent and disruptive tendencies. “As a first gesture, the PNC/R must return to Parliament to fulfill the mandate of those who voted for that party at the March 2001 general and regional elections”, Rohee said.