…up the PNC ladder?
After a marathon counting exercise of just 828 votes, which took almost 8 hours, Volda Lawrence was elected Chairman of the PNC/R. While it may seem your Eyewitness is a “male chauvinist pig” for calling Ms Volda a “Chairman”, he’s only going by the designation in the PNC’s Constitution. Maybe Lawrence, as the first female Chairman, can initiate steps to make the position more gender neutral. Obviously, even though the Constitution was revised in 2009, it doesn’t appear up to then that a woman might become “chairman”.
But what exactly does the Chairman do, to generate such a spirited fight for the position? Under Rule 20, “FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE CHAIRMAN”, the PNC Constitution declares a bit sketchily: (1) “The Chairman shall preside over, and be responsible for, the conduct of the meetings of Congress, General Council and Central Executive Committee, and may (be assigned) other duties by the Central Executive Committee. (2) The Chairman shall also represent the Leader on such occasions and at such functions as the Leader may direct.”
That doesn’t seem to warrant any big sturm and drang, does it? But it all becomes clear when one looks at Rule 19 (1), which stipulates: “If the office of Leader becomes vacant due to death, incapacity, resignation or other circumstance, the Chairman shall assume the functions of the Leader for the time being.”
With Granger just reminding us he’s seventy-three (remember him giving away 73 bicycles for his last birthday?)…biblical-minded persons like Volda in the PNC would know he’s now exceeded his “three score and ten” allotment.
But the PNC elections were interesting for other reasons than whether Granger might be kicking the bucket anytime soon – and thus raising the question of succession. There was the stinging rebuff of Attorney General Basil Williams, who received a measly 183 votes as opposed to 346 for Lawrence and 287 for Joe Harmon! Williams had used his bully pulpit to flaunt his “bully” credentials, which he obviously thought made his a “real” PNCite.
Was Lawrence’s trouncing of him suggesting her less confrontational approach was more acceptable to the delegates? They remembered her implicit reprimand to “I is” Broomes’s Basil Williams-like bullyism? Personally, your Eyewitness had placed his bets on Joe Harmon, who appears to be quite a pragmatic fella – a useful quality in a fractured society like Guyana!
But he was “double-banked”!!
However, at long last women — always the backbone of the PNC — are insisting on some recognition for their critical party work. The first Vice-Chairman was also a woman – who trounced old-time, rough-and-tumble PNCite Aubrey Norton.
Sadly, the male leader remains constitutionally paramount over all!! Next time?
Your Eyewitness saw Andre Russel express frustration over the Tallawahs “home games” scheduled in Florida. He complained it felt like playing in Guyana!!
But with 300,000 Jamaicans in South Florida, why not bring them out to the ball game??