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…but underscores the importance of effective planning
By Svetlana Marshall
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton, has assured that the Opposition will confront the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government on the ills committed against Guyanese, but, in doing so, underscored the importance of effective planning and education.
Amid a steep rise in cost of living, and increasing allegations of corruption, racial discrimination and flagrant violations of the Constitution and the Laws of Guyana, sections of society have called on the Opposition to up the ante against the Irfaan Ali Administration.
In an early morning interview on KAMS TV on Thursday, Norton, who is in line to be the next Leader of the Opposition, assured that the Opposition will act accordingly.
“When we act, we will act on the high moral ground but the reality is that the PPP has to be confronted and will be confronted…,” the PNCR Leader and Chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) assured.
But Norton, in offering that commitment, underscored the importance of education and effective planning.
“I think people must understand that the first thing you do when you are preparing to protest, is to, first of all expose the weaknesses and the wrongs of the government. The second thing you do is educate and prepare the people for whatever protest you will take including, letting the position be known to the international community,” he explained.
Noting that politically, one must never play into an opponent’s plan, Norton said it is important for Guyanese to understand the challenges and issues facing the country, as well, as the actions to be taken to combat those challenges.
“…follow the information, understand where we are, so that when we are ready to act, each and every one of us, can state clearly why we are acting. We are acting because the Government has been given the opportunity to rectify the ills against Guyanese people, and in fact, they have intensified it,” he said.
He warned action without effective planning can be detrimental.
“Anything you do without a proper plan will not succeed and what one has to do here is to be well organized, have a proper plan and to remember our most important task is to be able to return to power to serve our people. And so I hear people talk about slow march, fast march, there are some people who believe that the only option is street protest, all I would say to such persons, is that as a party we have to be calculated, as a party we have to put all of the things in place so that when we act, we have the protection that is needed to act,” Norton said.
He recalled being arrested during a street protest, along with some 15 others, and subsequently placed on bail. Norton reasoned that in such circumstances it is necessary to have the legal and financial resources available, in the event there is need for bail or legal representation.
“So one of the things what one has to do when one is going to protest, is to prepare the requisite resources to ensure our people are not incarcerated unnecessarily for long times,” he posited.
Since his election to office as Leader of the PNCR last December, Norton, as well as the Executive of the PNCR, has been engaging the Diplomatic Community on matters of national importance.
His most recent meeting was with the U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary for Caribbean Affairs and Haiti, Barbara Feinstein, during which electoral related matters, including the need for a clean Voters’ List, were placed on the front burner.
He has also met with the US Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch; Chinese Ambassador, Guo Haiyan; the EU Ambassador, Fernando Ponz Canto, and the Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman among other diplomats.
In the addition to the need for a clean Voters’ List, Norton said the PNCR also provided the International Community with critical information on discriminatory practices employed by the PPP/C Government, constitutional violations and corruption.
“We have also indicated to them that the PPP is very incompetent. They have no vision for Guyana; they have no plan. What they have is a hodgepodge of projects that permit them to steal…,” Norton said.
He said importantly, the PNCR has submitted the APNU+AFC, for which it forms a major part, is best suited to manage the country.
In the interim, Norton said the PNCR is preparing to institute legal proceedings against the Government over breach of the Constitution and the improper passage of the Natural Resources Fund Act, which was rammed through the National Assembly amid chaos, and fierce objection from the APNU+AFC and civil society.