Ahead of their congress, nominations for several top positions within the People’s National Congress (PNC) were announced on Tuesday, to help define the line-up of contenders as the race heats up.
According to party’s General Secretary, Amna Ally, Ministers Basil Williams, Volda Lawrence and Joseph Harmon remain the contenders for Chairmanship. When it comes to Vice Chairmanship, there are seven nominees.
They are Lawrence, Harmon, Dr George Norton, Annette Ferguson, James Bond, Winston Felix and overseas based Cosbert Roberts.
No one has, however, dared to challenge incumbent party leader David Granger for the party leadership post.
On June 21, 2018, longstanding party stalwart and State Minister Harmon announced his candidacy in a short statement.
He had disclosed that the PNC holds its Congress biennially, at which time all positions of leadership (inclusive of Party Leader and Central Executives) are up for voting.
This announcement was made days after the PNC had held its second General Council Meeting for the year, on June 16.
Meanwhile, Lawrence’s candidature was announced on June 30, 2018, by party activist and Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, via his social media page.
Back in 2012, Lawrence had contested for the leadership of the party alongside then Opposition Leader and now President, Granger, and current Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.
Observers and political commentators have since outlined that the dynamics playing out within the PNC for the position of Chairman points to a faction.
In fact, Dr David Hinds who is an Executive member of the Working People’s Alliance, one of the parties inclusive of the PNC that make up A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), expressed his opinion publicly that the developments indicate a faction within the traditional party faithful that want Williams ousted from the chairmanship, possibly based on his performance.
Harmon’s entrance, he noted, indicates the presence of a newer, more coalition minded faction in the party.
“Two challengers to Basil Williams for Chairman, one can assume the general membership of the PNC may be dissatisfied with Williams’s tenure and they may be looking for someone new,” Hinds related.“In the last week, we’ve had Volda Lawrence throwing her hat into the race. I think that Lawrence and Williams are vying for the same kind of vote amongst PNC members. So it means (her) very entry into the race is an indication that that faction seems to think Williams is unable to win and so they turn to Lawrence.”
PNC’s Biennial Delegates Congress to elect a new Chairperson is slated for August 17-19, 2018.