Former President and Leader of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) David Granger has indicated to the party that he will, when the time is considered appropriate, join discussions concerning the positions of Opposition Leader and the Representative of the APNU+AFC List of Candidates.
This was revealed by PNC Leader Aubrey Norton during a press conference today.
The PNC – the largest party in the APNU+AFC Coalition – wants the newly-elected Leader of the Party, to sit in the National Assembly and hold the post of the country’s Opposition Leader, replacing Joseph Harmon.
Harmon was appointed to that constitutional position by Representative of the List, Granger. The PNC also wants Granger’s position as Head of the List replaced by Norton.
“At this stage, we’re having engagements inside the party, the APNU+AFC. And I do not believe that the best approach is to go down the road of providing information as the basis of sensationalism,” Norton insisted as members of the media asked for updates on the ongoing discussions to sort out the leadership confusion within the Opposition.
“The PNC has taken clear decisions, the PNC has decided that on many of these issues, we need to resolve them inside, and then we will make it clear to the nation where we stand on this issue,” he added.
Asked if any timeline has been set for the conclusion of these discussions, Norton responded in the negative.
When pressed for more information, the PNC Leader admitted that Granger has since been engaged on these matters.
“The Leader of the List was engaged and there will be continuous engagement,” Norton explained.
However, he added that, “As far as I know, the discussions involve the Leader of the PNC and the Leader of the Opposition. As far as I know from Mr Granger, the former leader of the party has decided that he will engage but he wants to see the outcome of this first phase of discussion.”
Harmon, who lost his bid for the PNCR leadership to Norton, has since insisted that he should remain Opposition Leader. Harmon was also not re-elected to the PNC’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) – the highest decision-making body of the party.
When asked if Harmon was coopted to the CEC, Norton expressed “anybody that we have coopted, we have informed the press.” The PNC has not released any statement regarding Harmon becoming a coopt member of the CEC.
The APNU has already issued a statement noting that “the members of A Partnership for National Unity have had no reason to question the abilities of David Granger and Khemraj Ramjattan as Head and Deputy Head of the list of the APNU/AFC, we have had no reason to question the leadership of Joseph Harmon as Leader of the Opposition and we have had no reasons to question the abilities of any Member of Parliament. While we are yet to meet with the new PNCR Leader Mr Aubrey Norton, we are expecting to have a good working relationship with him as we’ve had with former President David Granger.”
Ramjattan, who is Deputy of the List, also made it clear that the established procedures must be followed before the Leader of the Opposition or Representative of the List of the APNU+AFC Coalition can be changed.