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—Norton skirts questions on talks with Harmon
Aubrey Norton – the Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – continues to be tightlipped on his discussions with Joseph Harmon on assuming the post of Leader of the Opposition as mandated by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PNCR.
Confronted with the issue during PNCR’s weekly press conference on Friday, Norton, before offering a very limited response, said it was “worrying” that the press did not use the opportunity to ask questions on his opening statement which addressed a number of issues pertaining to the upcoming budget. He, nonetheless, told reporters that at the appropriate time, he will update the press on the matter.
The PNCR, which forms a major part of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), at the level of its Central Executive Committee (CEC), has voted for Norton to replace Harmon as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. The decision has ignited talks among the Leader of the PNCR, the Leader of the Opposition and Chairman of the APNU, David Granger, who also heads the Coalition’s List of Representatives. For Norton to be Opposition Leader, he must first be appointed Member of Parliament.
Pressed for answers on Friday, Norton would only say that it is an “internal matter” and therefore it would be dealt internally. “I said before that the party intends to deal with these matters as internal matters. We will discuss and when we think it is necessary that the press be informed, we will inform the press. We are not in the business of allowing the press to dictate what we say, when we say it and how we say it to their advantage,” Norton said in response.
Village Voice News understands that Norton, Harmon and Granger are scheduled to meet on Monday as a follow-up to their initial meeting but when asked to confirm, he had this to say: “I know a meeting is scheduled but I don’t know which Monday meeting you are talking about.”
Norton said too that he is unaware that a timeline has been set for the conclusion of the talks among the Leaders. “I think a lot of what will happen will result from the nature of the discussions but to say to you that a timeline has been set, I can’t say that,” he added.
During another press conference held by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament and Chairman of the PNCR, Shurwayne Holder also appeared tightlipped on the matter. “Our leaders have already said that these are internal matters which are engaging the party and when we come to a decision, we will inform the public and the press,” he said in response to a question posed.
Asked if he confident that the matter will be resolved in keeping with the decision of the CEC, Holder said “I am confident that we will arrive at a decision that will be in the best interest of the party.”