PNCR’s leaders warn against internal factions
- party insists there were irregularities at November polls
Leaders of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) have warned
against factionalism, saying over the weekend that it would not help to take the party forward.
During the party’s first General Council for this year, held Saturday at its Congress Place, Sophia Headquarters, it was also emphasised that the formation of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) is not an alternative for the party.
“The formation of APNU is not an alternative for the PNCR,” Robert Corbin, the party’s leader, told those gathered. “The PNCR has to remain dedicated to the development and empowerment of the working people of this country. It must remain vibrant, dynamic and alive, for without the PNCR there could not have been APNU. The mission of the PNCR is to continue to rejuvenate and reposition the party as we collaborate in a wider partnership.”
Regarding the issue of division within the party, Corbin noted that as the party grows in strength there are signs of a most unpleasant tendency – factionalism – which must be dealt with immediately, since it would not help to take the party forward. He stressed that the PNCR should be the only faction if it is to progress.
APNU’s Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier David Granger, in also addressing the issue of factionalism, warned that party business must be transacted within its internal mechanisms like the Central Executive and the General Council. He described the PNCR as a “law driven party and not a lawless party”.
Within recent years, there was a leadership battle within the party with Vincent Alexander, a senior executive, losing out against Corbin who had been faced with increasing criticism over his leadership style.
The General Council, which is the highest decision-making forum of the Party, after the Biennial Congress, was chaired by Party Chairman, Bishwaishwar “Cammie” Ramsaroop.
According to Ramsaroop, the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) still seems to be seeing the politics of Guyana as if it is “business as usual”. He pointed out that although the PPP/C appears to have accepted the tripartite process, their general conduct is characterised by the same old “unilateralism” which has been on display since that party took office in 1992.
“The winner-take-all politics in Guyana is no more a reality, thanks to APNU and the PNCR,” the Chairman told the gathering.
He also lauded Corbin for not offering himself as the Presidential Candidate for the Party but, instead, instituting the process and mechanism of the primaries to elect the Presidential Candidate for the party.
General Secretary Oscar Clarke, in his report to the General Council, gave an account of the state of the party and the preparations for the upcoming 17th Biennial Delegates’ Congress.
A minute’s silence was observed for party members, stalwarts and supporters who died since the last General Council meeting.
During his address, Corbin stated that one of the party’s principles was the recognition of the importance of reaching out and bringing fresh blood aboard to keep it rejuvenated.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, APNU’s Campaign Director, Joseph Harmon, said that the aim of the 10-party coalition, of which the PNCR is an integral part, was to win the elections.
While APNU’s campaign did not benefit from a single major donor, overseas-based Guyanese had “made a lot of things possible for the campaign,” Harmon explained. He also praised “the young people who were involved at every stage of the process and whose energies helped to take the campaign into many non-traditional areas of the country”.
Reporting on the November 28th General and Regional Elections, which APNU claimed involved some irregularities, Harmon disclosed that the findings of the verification exercise based on the Statements of Poll (SOPs) exposed a number of discrepancies in the elections management by Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). This, he said, was particularly evident in the process for the declaration of the election results. He outlined the difficulties experienced in seeking to get access to the “original” SOPs from GECOM. The findings, he stated, included the discovery of multiple SOPs with the same signatures and the failure to provide a List of the Official Polling Places, particularly those in private residences.
Granger, in his presentation to the General Council, called for the party to honour members who have worked hard over the decades. This, he stressed, must be done by the 55th anniversary of the Party. He also proposed that the party introduce a Forbes Burnham Annual Bursary Award to preserve the memory of the Founder Leader.
He also reminded the General Council that the PNCR is the heart of APNU and will continue in the partnership with the other nine partners to deliver a good life for all Guyanese.
Granger insisted that the PNCR was the best organised party on the ground and ran a clean campaign during the November 28th polls.