The main and larger partner in the APNU+AFC coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has announced that it has withdrawn all support from one of its Local Government candidates who has been accused of molesting a child.
In a statement this afternoon, the party said it is firmly against all forms of abuse especially the abuse of women, children and the elderly and it takes seriously all allegations of abuse that are made against its members and supporters.
“In our 2015 Manifesto, we clearly state and affirm that the Domestic Violence Act and the Sexual Offences Act must at all times be enforced without compromise or exception”, the statement noted.
The statement said that recent media reports have shed light on allegations and charges that were filed against Mr. Winston Harding, a Candidate contesting a Constituency seat in the Georgetown Municipality and the accusations of child molestation as reported in the media, are a matter of grave concern.
“In light of the alleged behavior of Mr. Winston Harding and the pattern of accusations over the years, his candidature cannot be supported at this time.”
The APNU said it is cognizant of the fact that Mr. Harding has not been convicted of any offence, but the gravity and nature of the accusations cannot be ignored or condoned.
The story made the front page of the Stabroek News and the APNU+AFC’s Georgetown campaign manager, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence, came under criticism for not immediately acting on the reports and concerns about the candidate.
With local government elections two days away, the man’s name is likely to remain on the list but the party’s statement means it will not support his election to the council.