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Stones thrown at NDP meeting in Marriaqua

Stones thrown at NDP meeting in Marriaqua

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A stone throwing incident Saturday night at a New Democratic Party (NDP) fund-raising event at Richland Park in the Marriaqua constituency has resulted in calls for persons to desist from election violence.{{more}}

Via a post on Facebook last Sunday morning, the NDP candidate for Marriaqua, Curtis Bowman, reported that during the event, stones were thrown, which resulted in one man sustaining a chop to the head and others receiving hits about their bodies.

“The police were called in and we are investigating. Our campaign strongly condemns such cowardly and dangerous acts and we call on the people of Marriaqua to avoid the temptation to attempt hurt their fellow citizens. No violence. We are better than this, we are stronger than this. Let us all be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” the post read.

Following the incident, claims were made that supporters of the governing Unity Labour Party (ULP) were responsible for what took place at the NDP event. However, ULP candidate for Marriaqua, Jimmy Prince, during a call to the Shake Up programme yesterday, denied these claims.

According to Prince, children, around the ages of 11 and 12, are the ones who threw the stones.

“I, myself, went to Ground Zero, the office of Curtis Bowman. I went there to find out, because I heard people coming down in Mespo… saying that there was election violence in Richland Park and people get their

head burst and people went to the hospital. ‘Jimmy Prince and dem did this’,” the ULP candidate said on the radio programme.

“I spoke to the person doing the barbecue there and he said ‘Listen Jimmy, there were some children there on the bank, picking up gravel from the asphalt being dug up by the workers – because they’re redoing the road in Richland Park – and they threw the stones over the bank and it hit a couple people.’

“They chased them. They themselves chased them, caught them and realized that they were children, 11, 12, in that age group and in fact, two of them are grandchildren of people who support the NDP anyway.”

Prince declared that violence has never been nor will it ever be a feature for politics in the Marriaqua constituency. He also stated that the ULP does not believe in violence and will condemn and denounce such acts, because “elections are serious business.”

During his weekly New Times radio programme yesterday, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace urged NDP supporters not to engage in acts of violence during and after the election period.

He acknowledged that during an election, persons can be very easily enraged and he appealed to supporters to “keep their heads cool,” even if they are being provoked by other persons.

“Look at what happened at Mr Bowman’s Ground Zero,” he said, referring to last weekend’s stone throwing incident.

“Let us desist from getting involved in violence in election campaigns. We have had people who died because of that, you know. We have people who lost limbs, who lost eyes. Let us not go down that road.” (BK)

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