The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) is concerned that Carl Parker is still allowed to fully assume office as Regional Executive Officer for Region 9.

Pursuant to the multiple allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by female workers in the region, and after two (2) long years of outcry, petitions and denunciations by the people of the Rupununi and GEPAN, Parker was finally charged on February 8, 2017, and brought before Judge Judy Latchman. Released on bail set at GY $200 000, he is scheduled to return to Court on February 16, 2017.

Minister Bulkan promised to have Parker “immediately” removed from his functions following the charges of sexual assault laid against him. Minister of State Joseph Harmon, later confirmed the removal of Parker during the legal process by the Communities Ministry, during a press conference held two days ago.

However, confirmation has reached our organisation that Parker currently still operates in his full capacity as REO for Region 9. Reports also indicate that Parker is encouraging the politicisation of his judicial process by gathering on-the-ground supporters to verbally harass the victim and her entourage in public.

GEPAN believes that enough time has been granted for Parker to hand over the documents, keys and other assets in his possession before removing himself from the seat of REO. It is also our firm belief that allowing him to continue his mandate under the pretext that a new REO has not yet been appointed, is utterly irresponsible of the Communities Ministry.

Further, permitting a senior political appointee and regional official currently being judged for sexual assault, to operate with such impunity, is demonstrative of the blatant disregard by authorities for the Law, and is equally disrespectful towards the victim who works in the same professional environment as Parker.

Parker’s presence at the work place intensifies the malaise felt by the victim and workers, and can result in further emotional and psychological trauma. If this is not remedied immediately, any further trauma suffered by the victim may rightfully be imparted to the responsibility of the Communities Ministry.

We urge Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan to put an abrupt end to this anomaly and let the Law take its course in bringing justice to the victim. Until he is removed from the office of REO, the Communities Ministry will continue to be deemed complicit in the tyranny and suffering inflicted upon the victim (s) and the Rupununi people by Carl Parker.

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