PNP calls for probe into alleged threats made in Portland Eastern
The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) is calling on the Commissioner of Police and the Office of the Political Ombudsman to investigate claims of intimidation and threats made against rafters in the Berrydale community of East Portland by a political activist.
PNP General Secretary, Julian Robinson, said the party has asked Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson to initiate an investigation into what he said are threats and intimidation from persons he claimed are aligned to the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
According to Robinson, the party has received reports that during a visit to the area by members of JLP leadership on Thursday for a campaign event, rafters were reportedly threatened that there would be retaliation if they did not support the JLP’s candidate, Mrs Annmarie Vaz.
“The PNP finds these reports disturbing and is calling on the relevant authorities, including the Political Ombudsman, to investigate the matter,” Robinson said.
Robinson described the reported development as alarming.
“It is also noteworthy…that these grievous charges of intimidation and threat have surfaced in the context of the JLP candidate’s refusal to sign the Political Code of Conduct, which denounces acts of violence in the campaign and against the violent death of former Member of Parliament, Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield,” Robinson continued.
The PNP is urging those who have been threatened and/or intimidated to report “this disturbing development” directly to the police.
“However, with the level of fear that is now engulfing sections of the community, it is essential that the Commissioner of Police initiate an investigation into these reports swiftly and to provide adequate security coverage for the areas targeted to eliminate the atmosphere of fear which is slowly engulfing sections of the constituency,” Robinson said.
The PNP noted that the hard-won rights through Universal Adult Suffrage ensure that every Jamaican over the age of 18 years is entitled to a vote without fear. It said this must be preserved by the State.
The PNP said that an official report will also be made to the Office of the Political Ombudsman as this matter must be treated seriously and swiftly at all levels.
The opposition party said the people of East Portland must be assured of their protection as they make their choice in an atmosphere of freedom, fairness and safety.