PPP/C condemns defacing, destruction of its billboards, posters


… a disturbing trend, says Minister Robert Persaud
ALL political parties are being urged to sign on to GECOM’s code of conduct, in an effort to send a strong message to their supporters and their activists, that all must engage in a healthy, tolerant and civil elections campaign.

Minister of Agriculture and PPP/C Executive member, Robert Persaud made this call yesterday, during a media briefing convened at Freedom House on Robb Street, where he condemned the recent acts of vandalism, in which billboards, posters and scrolls, relating to their election campaign, were destroyed and defaced.
He explained, “Saturday night we suffered terribly at the hands of a gang that was moving around in a black Tacoma, chopping billboards, in some cases throwing paint on them. In some cases persons used a ladder to remove these things. We are asking our teams and activists again not to engage in any confrontation as we suspect these are acts of provocation and also indicate some level of desperation in the opposition camp.”
Minister Persaud noted that these acts point to a “disturbing trend”, which, according to him, will not improve until all political parties sign on to the code of conduct drafted by GECOM.
“Three weeks ago I predicted that things would not get better unless we see the signing of the code of conduct by political parties. The reality is that things have not gotten better in terms of civility, in terms of respect of other people’s right to campaign and to have their election material up,” he said.
He also urged the Guyana Police Force to be tough and to take the necessary action as they view available surveillance tapes of these acts.
Persaud stated, “I have been advised that there are surveillance tapes of these actions, as a result of the CCTV cameras  in the areas where the billboard were strategically placed, so there is some level of evidence. We want the police to take the tapes and to make them available to the media so that the wider public can see those who are involved in the disruptive act… we hope that it does not mean a heightened, uncivil and disruptive type of campaign.”
As to the probability that the weather conditions on Saturday night may have contributed to the destruction of the campaign material, the PPP Executive member acknowledged that it may have influenced the acts.
He, however, noted that there was also some degree of “malicious damage”.
“If you look at the scrolls on the East Bank, they were clearly ripped by a cutlass; that was not the weather, the weather would not throw black paint at it,” he emphasised.
On this note, he reiterated that the PPP/C supporters are being urged not to engage in confrontational behaviour, as any one found conducting themselves in a manner not befitting the PPP/C campaign will be dealt with condignly.