PPP mulls using Cyber Crime laws against APNU/AFC provocateurs
The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is preparing to activate Guyana’s Cyber Crime laws in order to take action against coalition supporters that have demonstrated a propensity of creating mischief, through various public posts on social media platforms which are meant to foment confusion.
PPP’s Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali and former Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall gave the views at the close of the third day of the National Recount of the votes cast during the March 2 polls.
Briefing media operatives on the day’s proceedings, Nandlall on Friday reported that another “important challenge also that seem to be gaining some momentum is the ongoing commentary of distortion that is taking place in the social media by persons who are not there.”
According to the attorney-at-law, the musings are, in fact, heightening tension and animosity in the society “because you have persons who are deliberately distorting issues, persons who are nowhere in the precincts of this Convention Centre…I don’t know who are feeding them this and what is their agenda but clearly, it is an agenda that would not augur well for the process.”
He was adamant, “if it succeeds it will derail the process” and pointed to “a few people who are constantly, dedicatedly executing such a campaign on Facebook, if you read it whole day four, five issues that are magnified, multiplied, distorted and causing all sorts of mischief.”
As such, the attorney disclosed that the PPP is “considering activating the provisions of the Cyber Crimes Act.”
He told media that the Act does provide for such instances and that “our legal team is considering activating the provisions of the Act, making reports to the police and launching an investigation and if possible, write Facebook.”
According to Nandlall, if the situation is allowed to continue “in this way, it will end up not in a good way.”
Presidential Candidate for the party, Dr Ali later expanded on the PPP’s concerns over what he too termed mischief afoot, regarding the entire recount process.
He told media operatives, “…we continue to be concerned about the mischief and mischievous propaganda on social media by a few persons who are bent on creating a narrative.”
Speaking directly to the coalition base, Dr Ali said: “I just want the APNU/AFC supporters to be realistic to do their own analysis to do their own thinking, don’t be carried away by the propaganda but to understand that the reality is coming home now.”
The PPP candidate also used the occasion to remind that his party would be posting the Statements of Recount (SoRs) generated each day from the Guyana Elections Commission’s counting teams and that these would be made available alongside the already publicly available Statements of Poll (SoPs).
The SoPs were created on March 2, by GECOM staff and copies were given to each party agent at a Polling Station.
Dr Ali had the day before called on the Guyana Police Force to look into similar complaints.
Describing that too as “mischief”, at the time Ali drew reference to widespread reports which have been circulating during the course of the day, about a ‘secret meeting’ between GECOM Information Technology (IT) staff and PPP officials, including Dr Frank Anthony.
Those reports were swiftly debunked by the Commission.
During the course of Friday, there could be observed, posts from known coalition supporters and formal members, describing events from inside the Conference Centre, such as the stoppage of work at the counting stations.
These reports were quickly debunked by a number of representatives, inclusive of party representatives at the identified counting stations.
There were also fake reports that the PPP had pulled its SoPs from its website but this too proved to be erroneous reports being peddled by the known coalition members.