By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The ruckus at Congress Place on Sunday [July 27] was “well organized and well financed” according to Vice Chair of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Volda Lawrence.
She told a news conference that Chairman of Region Ten, Sharma Solomon and some of his support group were intent on causing the maximum disruption to the 18th Biennial Delegates Congress.
A group of Lindeners led by Solomon and PNCR Member Aubrey Norton walked out of the Congress, alleging that Lindeners were disenfranchised by being prevented from voting.
The group also broke down the barriers to the Congress and protested.
“During the Opening Ceremony on Friday 25th July 2014 – Day One of the Congress – it was evident that a handful of Party members had convinced a segment of the Region No. 10 community, including non-members, to travel to Georgetown to disrupt what was an otherwise orderly and successful opening ceremony. This was followed by several calculated and well-planned acts of disorder. This group was well-organised, well-financed and dressed in a ‘uniform’ manner and abused the spirit of our Party and the sanctity of our Congress,” Lawrence said.
The majority of the Linden members were dressed in red T – Shirts and black pants.
When asked to provide evidence of the alleged financing of the group, General Secretary of the Party, Oscar Clarke referred to full page advertisements in the newspapers by groups that expressed interest in the outcome of the Party’s congress.
“They couldn’t do these things without being financed. I am not aware of who financed them, you have to ask them,” Clarke said.
Following the conclusion of the Congress on Sunday, unopposed Leader David Granger blamed the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic for the chaos.
The Party noted that large number of the persons who were transported from Linden on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were not Delegates or Observers to the Congress but were taken there to create disorder.
No Flaws in Electoral Process
PNCR Member, Aubrey Norton pulled out of the Leadership race, citing flaws in the voting process. However, Clarke debunked those claims, stating that the process went smoothly.
“There were no flaws in the electoral process. Absolutely none. Anyone who makes that statement has to provide evidence…everything went smoothly,” the GS told the news conference.
The Party pointed out that the Returning Officer and his team received no complaints or criticisms and there were no problems with any other Party Region at the Congress.
Clarke explained that 119 members from Linden were accredited as Delegates and from that number 55 of them did not pick up their delegate cards.
According to the Party, when Norton and Solomon announced their withdrawal from Congress, approximately 30 Delegates walked out.
“Only a very small segment of the Region Ten delegation behaved inappropriately.”
It was further pointed out that Solomon and Norton were intent on embarrassing the PNCR.