Campaign against Corbin’s leadership…
By Brushell Blackman
Members of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) are disassociating themselves from a full-page advertisement in Kaieteur News calling for the removal of Robert Corbin as the leader of that party.
The advertisement, which was brought to this newspaper by a Loyden Richards, said that Corbin continues to fail the members and followers of the party and in the process selling out to the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
Further it called on its members to look to leadership from Dr. Aubrey Armstrong, Mark Benschop, Dr. Richard Van West Charles, Aubrey Norton or Deborah Backer to move the party forward.
Additionally, the advertisement implies that there are talks between the PNC/R and the Alliance for Change (AFC) for a merger down the road. To this the AFC said that they are not in talks with the PNC/R and are not going to be caught up in that party internal issue.
AFC leader, Raphael Trotman, at a hastily called press briefing to address the issues said that he has great suspicions about the advertisement and believes that it is the work of mischievous persons.
Trotman said that the fact that the advert does not have PNC/R stalwart Winston Murray as one of the persons to lead that party brings the authenticity of it into question.
When contacted, social activist, Mark Benschop said that while he believes that the advertisement is a ploy by the PPP/C to create confusion in the PNC/R, and divert attention from its own troubles, certain issues cannot go un-noticed.
Benschop said that he is one that believes that the party leadership needs to change. He said that Corbin is a liability that is incapable of leading the PNC/R. Further, Benschop said that Corbin is only interested in power, rather than in empowering his followers.
When quizzed about his ambitions in playing an integral role in the PNC/R, Benschop said that he is not a member of that party, but should he become a member he will only take up the leadership of the PNC/R if that is the will of the people.
Aubrey Norton, who was also mentioned in the Ad, told Kaieteur News, that he only learnt of it when he saw it in the newspaper. He said that he has no knowledge of it and sees the move as malicious and wicked.
Further, he said that his sentiments are well documented as it relates to the leadership of his party. He, like Deborah Backer, said that he has no ambitions in the leadership of the party and supports Winston Murray for the position.
Norton said that he does not believe that Corbin is the correct person to lead the party. He heaped scorn on the advert, which he said implies that there is a division between him and Murray, an individual that he supports and will continue to support.
While Dr Richard Van West Charles also distances himself from the advertisement he said that it is public knowledge that he is not in favour of Corbin to lead the PNC/R. However he was displeased that the newspaper did not contact him when the advertisement was brought to it.
Some persons mentioned in the advertisement called for more rigid scrutiny by newspapers whenever advertisements like those are brought to it.
However Kaieteur News, Editor-In-Chief, Adam Harris, said that he saw no reason why the advertisement should have been disallowed. He said that he could have only disallowed the advertisement if it was slanderous or libellous or inciteful. He said that to refuse the advertisement was to prevent the right of expression of one group of people, something that could have attracted the attention of the courts.
Harris recalled a case some years ago when an advertisement was refused under the then PNC/R government and the court overturned the PNCR decision. He said that, had that course of action taken, persons could have branded the move a suppression of freedom of speech.
The leadership of the PNC/R has been the centre of attention for some time now with many expressing dissatisfaction with the leadership of the embattled Robert Corbin.
At the last congress of that party there were accusations of vote rigging after Corbin was re-elected as leader in a landslide victory over Winston Murray.
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