Second anniversary of post election violence

Guyana Chronicle
March 19, 2003

Related Links: Articles on election violence
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Today marks the second anniversary of the March 19, 2001 General Elections which were won by People’s Progressive Party/Civic, (PPP/C).

The PPP/C won with 209,031 votes, representing over 53 percent of the votes cast, defeating the main Opposition People’s National Congress/Reform, which got 164,074 votes.

The delay by the Guyana Elections Commission to release the final results caused uneasiness among a certain section of the people. But the Commission took every step to ensure that the results were accurate and transparent, thus the delay.

The opposition PNC used the delay to spark unrest in and around the Capital City, which later spread to many East Coast Demerara villages.

The PPP/C was the subject of attacks before and after closing of polls and several of its polling day agents were kidnapped and beaten by persons operating under the ‘cover of darkness.’

The PPP/C vehemently condemned these attacks, and accused the PNC/R of trying to disrupt the fair and transparent electoral process.

Following the elections, villagers of many East Coast villages including Buxton, took to the streets after confronting two GECOM employees, who were only doing their duty. Several persons were injured in the process.

The demonstrators who were supporting late leader of the PNC/R Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, blocked the roads with tree trunks and burnt tires preventing long lines of vehicular traffic from passing through villages including, Melanie Damishana, Golden Grove and Ann’s Grove.

Commuters passing through those villages were beaten and robbed.

The PPP/C had condemned the organized unrest and disruptions within several villages along the East Coast.

Polling day was generally peaceful despite some hiccups at some Polling stations. The Police however reported no major disturbances until Chief Elections Agent for the PPP/C, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran reported that his party’s polling agents were threatened and intimated at some polling stations, especially South Georgetown after the close of polls and at vote counting on Elections Night..

By this time the usually bright City of Georgetown was without its hustle and bustle, fearing for a return of the events that occurred after the December 1997 elections, when the PNC attempted to steal the election. .

Businesses closed their doors and many schools recorded low attendance as the news spread that there would be more post-elections violence along the East Coast.

Despite all the upheavals President Jagdeo was sworn as Head of State on March 31, 2001 at the Umana Yana, Kingston. Georgetown.

Former US President Jimmy Carter headed a 44-member carter Centre Observer Mission team to the elections. His team visited East Coast Polling stations as well as those around the City.

Site Meter