Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, in a statement, registered his concerns about which took place at the Arthur Chung Convention Center, Liliendaal, where the 18th Sitting of the National Assembly took place. Harmon noted that he along with 15 Opposition MPs were locked out from entering the Chambers.
President Irfan Ali addressed the National Assembly on various matters. The Opposition stayed away from the President’s address. They chanted “fraud is fraud” as he made his way into chambers and held protest actions out the center. Opposition Member, Lennox Shuman was present.
“I write to register and condemn the treatment of the Members of Parliament of the APNU+AFC at the Eighteenth Sitting of the National Assembly, on February 11, 2021.
I along with about 15 Members of Parliament were prohibited from entering the grounds of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre by Officers of the Guyana Police Force…other Members of Parliament were (allegedly) threatened and assaulted by the officers of the Guyana Police Force,” Harmon’s statement noted.
A video surfaced showing on MP, supposedly to be AFC’s David Patterson, jumping the Police barricade which was set up to prevent the protesters.
“At least 10 Members of Parliament were locked in the compound of the Convention Centre against their will and prohibited from leaving the compound by Officers of the Guyana Police Force,” it further stated.
Mr. Harmon says he plans to write the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Parlamericas, Amnesty International, the United Nations, CARICOM, and Guyana’s international partners along with other international parliamentary bodies. He wants an apology.
“I look forward to your immediate, unequivocal apology, in the National Assembly to myself and every Opposition Member of Parliament who was affected and a revocation of your instructions to the police,” the statement added.
Similar actions were meted out to Members of the then Opposition PPP during the life of the 17th Parliament. MPs were ordered out of the Chambers of Parliament where the lights, WiFi, and AC were turned off supposedly at the instructions of the then Speaker of the House.