Granger’s unilateral acceptance of “shell parties” breaches PNC’s constitution

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As the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of its largest party, the People’s National Congress Reform, lashed out at Leader David Granger over his “one man” decision to induct two new parties into the Partnership despite the objection by the PNCR’s highest decision-making forum.

In a statement on Thursday, the PNCR’s CEC said that Granger and General Secretary Amna Ally continue to disregard the decision of the Committee with their involvement and acceptance of the two new parties into the APNU.

Last month, APNU announced that the Equal Rights and Justice Party (ERJP), founded by Jaipaul Sharma, and the Guyana National Builders Movement (GNBM), founded by Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, have joined the partnership.

But according to the CEC of the APNU’s leading party, the PNCR never agreed to accept the two parties.

“…We know nothing about these parties! They were never launched nationally, and we are unaware of what benefits they bring for the PNCR to even consider accepting them into the Partnership.

That’s why we suspect them as “shell parties”,” the missive from the CEC detailed.

It was against this backdrop that the members of the Committee had mandated Granger, who is currently leader of both PNCR and APNU, to put on hold further involvement with the two parties until the matter was discussed internally.

Despite this, however, the Central Executive said Granger went ahead to not just announce the induction of the two parties into the Partnership but also even included them during Thursday’s celebration of the APNU’s 10th anniversary.

In fact, not only were representatives from the two parties present for the virtual programme, but Sarabo-Halley gave the closing remarks.

In response, the PNCR CEC posited that Granger’s actions were undoubtedly unconstitutional and an affront to the party’s membership. The Committee added that it would not allow Granger to reduce the PNCR to a “one-man show”.

“…We are now witnessing this latest disregard of the party’s decision, compounded by Mr Granger affixing the symbols of these two non-approved parties onto a programme purported to be that of the APNU for its 10th anniversary celebrations.

That is a “one-man show” which the Party will not allow Mr Granger to get away with. Therefore, the Party does not recognise these two shell parties as part of the APNU,” the CEC asserted.

Meanwhile, during a virtual celebration earlier Thursday morning, Granger, who had led the APNU/AFC coalition to office in 2015 and under whose leadership the coalition fell to a No-Confidence Motion and eventually lost the 2020 elections, welcomed the two new parties into APNU.

“We were able to welcome the Equal Rights and Justice Party and the Guyana National Builders Movement both of which are led by persons who have already served not only in the parties which left the Partnership but also in the coalition Government and we welcome them heartedly,” he noted.

Granger had previously said that these two new parties have strengthened the APNU after two of its five founding parties – the Justice For All Party (JFAP) and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) – resigned from the Partnership last year.

Nevertheless, the APNU Leader went on to outline during Thursday’s programme that the creation of the Partnership was the most exceptional event on the political landscape in the past decade. He said the APNU took the bold step of breaking the stranglehold of winner-takes-all paranoid politics.

He went on to commit the five parties within the APNU to working to achieve its Decade of Development: 2020-2029 – a framework for a 10-year plan that will accelerate faster economic growth, greater employment and increased economic opportunities.

Notwithstanding this pledge by Granger, the PNCR CEC said a “Congress Convening Sub-committee” was currently working on holding the party’s overdue Congress to elect new leadership.

“It is for this reason that we have begun to meet with you across all regions so you can be informed of the state of our party and join in saving our party. It is for this reason we are meeting to inform you that there will be a Congress before the end of this year… Members of the PNCR, let us come together, hold Congress, elect new leadership, and continue the development of this great party to take back office at the next General and Regional Elections,” the CEC detailed in its statement.

The PNCR CEC’s blatant announcement of plans to oust Granger from the helm of the party comes as he celebrated his 76th birthday.