March 3, 2021
WPA Statement on assault on MP Tabitha Sarabo-Halley
The WPA has received reports that APNU+AFC MP, Tabitha Sarabo-Haley, was physically assaulted by PPP MP, Kwame McCoy, during a parliamentary sitting earlier. WPA understands that Ms. Sarabo was in conversation with Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield when McCoy thrusted his phone in her face. After she protested, he proceeded to hit her in the face. After speaking with Ms. Sarabo and other onlookers, WPA is satisfied that she did not provoke the encounter—it was initiated and escalated by McCoy.
WPA condemns this cowardly act by a male member of the country’s highest deliberative body. Such action should not be tolerated in our country, especially by someone entrusted with power. WPA calls on the police to take swift action—McCoy should not get away with this. As a start, he should be suspended from the National Assembly forthwith. The Opposition members should not sit in the Assembly with this person.
At a time when violence against women is prevalent in the society, McCoy’s action represents a direct endorsement of this scourge. We call on women and men throughout Guyana to register more than passing condemnation of this development. Our country should ensure that this is the last time McCoy, who has a history of assaulting political foes, lays his hand on another citizen.
McCoy’s action cannot be divorced from the quality of governance the country has witnessed since the PPP came to power. We are of the firm view that the thuggish form of governance displayed by the PPP has set the stage for this kind of behavior from the member. The entire leadership of the PPP must bear responsibility for McCoy’s action. And all those who have helped to foist the regime on the Guyanese people should reflect on the consequences of their actions.
While the PPP regales the country about democracy, its members have played a major role in turning the National Assembly into a house of disrepute. What passes for parliamentary debates these days will forever be a stain on the face of Guyana. WPA will have more to say on this matter in the coming days.