PNC promises smooth, transparent congress

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…committee to be established to organise event

In the coming days, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) will establish a special committee to plan its highly anticipated Biennial Congress now that a strict timeframe has been agreed upon.

During a press conference on Friday, PNCR Chairman, Volda Lawrence, disclosed that the party’s Congress will be held either late November or early December. It was explained that PNCR’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) at a meeting on Thursday, September 16, 2021, approved recommendations for the holding of the Party’s 22nd Biennial Congress by the end of November 2021, but not later than 13th December 2021.

“The consideration for this period is linked to the Thanksgiving weekend in the USA which is a special occasion for our members living in the United States,” Lawrence explained in the presence of CEC Member Gary Bess.

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PNCR Executive Aubrey Norton

The Congress will be for delegates only, decentralised, and hybrid. It will be conducted over one day at Party Congress Houses in the respective regions, Lawrence further detailed, while noting that the necessary safeguards will be in place.

“Let me say from the onset that the party has various leadership structures in the 10 Administrative Regions including the Diaspora, and those leadership structures will kick in on that day, an prior to that, and it will be their responsibility to ensure that the process is carried out in a smooth and transparent manner,” Lawrence said.

She added: “I am quite certain that the logistics committee when put in place will seek to have all voting stations prepared in a manner that will bring as little or no hiccups as far as possible.”

It was noted that the General Secretary, Amna Ally along with leaders from the CEC are working to ensure that all persons are given an opportunity to participate at Congress.

She said in approximately one week, the CEC will meet again to formulate a Congress Committee, which will then set up sub-committees to carry out administrative functions for the successful hosting of the Congress. Lawrence said after which the dates for nominations for the leadership of the party will be announced.

PNCR Executive Dr Richard Van West Charles

Asked whether she will be contesting for the leadership of the party, Lawrence said: “we will have to wait to see the nominations.” She further declined to indicate her interest, saying “based on the nominations then I will give considerations.”

But Political Scientist Aubrey Norton has long signalled his interest. During an interview in May, Norton, who joined the PNC at the age of 15 in 1972, signaled his intention to contest for the leadership of the PNCR when Congress is held later this year. “Once the Congress of the People’s National Congress Reform is called, I intend to run for the leadership of the party but to serve,” Norton announced during his appearance on Politics 101 – a virtual show hosted by Political Scientist, Dr David Hinds.

In an exclusive interview with Village Voice Newspaper, Norton said the institutional knowledge acquired together with the political skills developed over the last 49 years makes him an exceptional candidate for the leadership of the PNCR.

“I also believe that academically, I am equipped to do the job; at the same time, I also believe that I am in contact with the grassroots of the party, and I have always been in contact with them, and I think that will also help me to standout,” he told this newspaper.

Norton, who served as General Secretary of the PNCR in 1997, said he was instrumental in rebuilding the party ahead of the December 1997 General and Regionals Elections, and he is even more prepared to do so this time around.

Dr Richard Van West Charles has also signalled his intention to contest for the leadership of the party.

Since the loss of the 2020 General and Regional Elections to the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), David Granger has come in for heavy criticism. PNCR forms a major part of APNU+AFC, and in recent months, there have been increasing calls for Granger to step down as the Leader of the PNCR over his leadership style.



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