APNU+AFC maintains position that Dharamlall must be removed from Office

APNU+AFC maintains position that Dharamlall must be removed from Office

The main opposition, A Partnership for National Unity is looking into claims that the 16-year-old school girl who filed a rape and sexual assault complaint against the Local Government Minister is being denied independent legal representation.

APNU+AFC Member of Parliament and former Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond said the rights of the child to proper legal counsel must be respected.

“We are all entitled to certain rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. When these rights are breach, it must be frown upon. The victim, albeit, in protective care, she is entitled to her rights and we have received reports that she was denied her constitutional right to legal representation and we are in the protest of looking at that, and we are going to explore this further,” MP Chandan-Edmond told a news conference on Thursday.

The APNU+AFC has been leading protests outside the Office of the President all this week, calling for Minister Dharamlall to be removed from office.

While the Guyana Police Force, has denied reports that the teen has not been allowed to be in the presence of her own Attorney while being questioned, at least two Attorneys who were contacted by her family were refused their request to meet with her.

“I know the individual will go to his utmost to get rid of any evidence that will present itself to validate the allegations that are being put against him. However, I want to say, that, whatever or whomever tries to obstruct or distort, during the process of investigation, doing this deliberately, I either by painting over, removing furniture, there is a God. And, he will serve justice. We need to do our part,” MP Dawn Hastings-Williams said.

MP Hastings-Williams said now that the Local Government Minister is officially a suspect in a rape case, President Irfaan Ali must remove him from office with immediate effect.

“The Minister must be removed from public office immediately. Minister Dharamlall is not a public servant; he was not appointed in accordance with the Public Service Commission. He is a political appointee and not a public servant. Consequently, the rules of the public service are not applicable to Mr. Dharamlall and therefore he cannot be sent on administrative leave pending the investigation and possible charges into the serious and odious allegations of rape and sodomy. By virtue of these allegations, the Minister is not fit for public office in any capacity and must immediately resign or be removed from government and Parliament,” MP Hastings-Williams said.

The Opposition is also calling on the Police Office of Professional Responsibility to launch an investigation into the actions of the Region Two Regional Commander, Khemraj Shivbarran, who reportedly signed as a witness to a statement purportedly written and signed by the victim, denying that she had published a statement on Facebook implicating the Minister.  The Police Commander has denied any wrongdoing.

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