Chairperson of the People’s National Congress Volda Lawrence was this morning charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud, one day after she was questioned by the Police on issues pertaining to allegations of fraud at the March elections.
Ms. Lawrence is accused of conspiring with the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo to declare a fraudulent account of votes at the regional and general level for the elections.
She appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, and was granted bail in the sum of $50,000 on each of the two charges.
She has denied any wrongdoing and any connection with electoral fraud.
Speaking to reporters just after her Court appearance, the PNC Reform Chairperson said “I remain strong and I know I have done nothing wrong and I will continue to say that because that is what it is. As the PPP during their 24 years, we will have our say and they will have their way, that is what we are seeing here”.
She said he is convinced that there is a move to use the state apparatus to harass political leaders and other persons, adding that the same two charges that were filed against her privately by PPP Member Charles Ramson Jr. have now been filed against her by the Police.
Attorney Nigel Hughes, who is representing Ms. Lawrence said it is becoming clearer that the objective of the Police is to embarrass and harass the political leadership of the opposition.
“The pattern and conduct that is emerging is as if they intend to have the leadership of one of the political parties constantly running to the Police Station and then bringing them to the Court. It is my hope that it could be a little more efficiently run. When they complete their investigation then they can consolidate all that they have to alleged and make one job at it so that we don’t have to waste your time or Ms. Lawrence’s time in coming here other than if there is some other intent to have Ms. Lawrence exercise and be humiliated every time she has to attend the Police station” Mr. Hughes said.
He noted that the Prosecutor was not ready to proceed with the case and the next hearing will therefore be on the 9th December, when he is hoping the case will move forward.
“We suspect that these are not the last set of charges based on the statements made by the Prosecution today. Upon inquiry from the Magistrate, whether they intend to consolidate all the matters at some stage, Mr. Mohammed (the Prosecutor) said yes but couldn’t say when”, the Attorney noted.
The Guyana Police Force is still conducting its probe into allegations of fraud at the 2020 elections. Already a number of GECOM staffers including the Chief Election Officer and his Deputy are facing charges in the Court related to the same investigations.
The investigation was triggered by the private criminal charges that were filed by the PPP.