Kaieteur News – Formidable chaos is tumbling over the PNC. It cannot hold its next congress due since last year for one glaring reason – it has to be rigged because Volda Lawrence is contesting the leadership and if the voting is free and fair without the shadows of Mingo, Lowenfield and Myers stalking Congress Place, then Lawrence will beat the incumbent, David Granger, and her challenger, Joseph Harmon.
The rigging is going to cause nightmares for Granger and Harmon. To be accused by the world of rigging the national election last year, then to do the same thing at your own party congress, could put the PNC in irreversible decline. Secondly, the Faith Harding syndrome could be invoked by Lawrence, but with a huge difference.
At the February 2011 special congress to elect a leader, Dr. Faith Harding, a stalwart who ran against Granger, claimed that the delegates were chosen through fraud and that Granger’s victory was helped by outgoing leader, Robert Corbin. Harding’s exclamation had no effect because she was absent from Guyana a long time and lost her popularity years ago. She was not seen as a formidable contender.
In the case of Lawrence, it is the opposite scenario. Lawrence is one of the most popular contestants and her accusation of being cheated in the forthcoming congress could break up the PNC. Her campaign manager, James Bond, is going to engage in destructive agitation, if she loses the vote due to handpicked delegates.
If the PNC does hold its congress this year, Guyana will see the re-enactment of the Hoyte versus Green syndrome and the Corbin versus Alexander drama. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that had there been a level playing field in the voting system to expel Hamilton Green from the PNC in March 1993, he would have won the vote and go on to defeat Hoyte for leadership.
It was the same theatrics, when Vincent Alexander challenged Robert Corbin in 2008. Alexander rightfully claimed that the system for establishing delegates was tampered with and indeed, it was. In Werk-en-Rust, the PNC office was a derelict building. I doubt there was a Werk-en-Rust PNC group in 2008 when Alexander challenged Corbin. Yet at the congress, the Werk-en-Rust membership was listed as being in the hundreds.
From the time Burnham died, every leadership rivalry inside the PNC – Hoyte versus Green; Corbin versus Alexander; Granger versus Greenidge – was characterised by skullduggery in which the results were misleading. In 2010, Carl Greenidge, who was out of the country for 20 years, came back and ran against Granger and lost by a mere 12 votes. In a straightforward battle, Greenidge would have won.
We now have the pattern being maintained with Granger versus Lawrence. When the congress convenes in 2022, Granger will not demit office. This is his strategy for keeping Lawrence out. Granger wants to leave but he feels if he goes the showdown between Harmon and Lawrence will end in defeat for the former, once the delegates are properly selected.
Granger has two options and both are cul-de-sacs. If he stays on as leader, he does not have to rig the election. If he retires, then he, Granger, has to rig to safeguard Harmon. But there is a movement by the Lawrence campaign team. Whether Granger rides away or stays as leader, Lawrence is putting her name on the ballot for leader.
Here is where the rigging becomes inevitable. Granger cannot beat Lawrence if both are vying for congressional votes. Granger is in the same boat as Hoyte was in 1993. Green’s denunciation of Hoyte was penetrating. He told African Guyanese that Hoyte has caused Burnham to turn in his grave in that he kowtowed to a White man (Jimmy Carter) and that caused the PNC to lose power. Green’s relentless use of the “Whiteman” thing had sunk in.
Lawrence did a Hamilton Green on Granger in the last days of July 2020. The consensus in the PNC was that sanctions notwithstanding, the PNC was not giving up power. When Granger conceded to Secretary of State, Pompeo, Lawrence became a walking volcano. She was uncontrollable. He went back to 1992 and exclaimed that just as Hoyte killed the PNC government in 1992, Granger did the identical thing in 2020.
Hoyte was far more popular in 1993 after he lost power among PNC constituencies than Granger among PNC supporters at the moment. No PNC leader since its formation has been so intensively badmouthed by PNC supporters as Granger is at the moment. They feel he was not the right leader for the PNC. Lawrence has become Granger’s nemesis.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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