By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaking to a scattered Congress Place, Leader of People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), David Granger has recommitted his pursuit to make Guyana one nation by establishing a government of national unity through shared governance.
Granger was addressing the opening of the PNC/R’s 18th Biennial Congress where he warned those present of a looming “Ramotarian autocracy.”
The PNC/R Leader who will go head to head with former General Secretary, Aubrey Norton on Sunday for the Leadership of the Party said he is confident of leading the PNC by extension the APNU coalition into the next general elections where he intends to establish a government of national unity.
He said from the results of the 2011elections, which saw the combined opposition securing a parliamentary majority, it is clear that the majority of Guyanese wants inclusionary democracy and called on the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to abandon its winner takes all politics.
“The people want greater inclusion not exclusion,” he said; adding that “through greater national unity, greater national benefits can be derived.”
He told the seemingly poorly attended opening ceremony that the PPP/C, rather than pursue a consensual policy of “inclusionary democracy” and cooperation with the Opposition as prescribed in the constitution, adopted a posture of confrontation.
“That approach, as you know, has failed. The fact is that Guyana is in a state of crisis. The governance crisis has been aggravated by the PPP/C’s reluctance to acknowledge its minority status in the National Assembly and to join the majority in the movement towards establishing a government of national unity.”
The Leader said the PNC is proud of its achievement both inside and outside of government while pointing to what he said was growing inequality, decline in access to public services, increase in public protest, an increasingly unsafe and unstable nation and rampant corruption, all of which is hampering national growth.
He spoke too of growing migration, poverty and unemployment, all of which he intends to tackle in the coming months.
The Congress, which was attended by members of the private sector and diplomatic community, saw some division as anticipated as members throw their support behind those running for executive positions, particularly the leadership.
However, the Party was united in accusing the government of seeking to distort its “glorious” track record dating back to the rule of the late LFS Burnham.
Meanwhile, Region Ten strongman, Norton believes there is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise Region 10 representatives, particularly those supporting his nomination.
He said the driver of Granger stooped as low as to call one of his supporters a dog.
“They did it at the last congress but I will stand up and fight the indecency in here,” Norton said during an interview with iNews.
He said he will meet with Party General Secretary, Oscar Clarke to sort out the matter and has since submitted a written complaint.
There are serious concerns brewing within the region ten delegations of attempts to disenfranchise them, Norton said. He maintains that about 30 persons who are eligible are affected.
“What is worrying is that the people who support me seem to be having these problems and they are financial members.”
Earlier today, PNC/R Parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoon’s Region Ten Colleague, Sharma Solomon was adamant that the suspended member be granted delegate status to participate in the congress.
Kissoon entered half way through the session with several persons waving placards and singing. She is reportedly only attending as a special invitee.
In a letter to Clarke, the Region Ten [Linden] Chairman outlined that “consistent with Rule 15 (2) (d) of the Party Constitution, Kissoon is entitled to delegate status.
The Congress will conclude on Sunday, after the results of the elections will be announced.