By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – David Granger returned as the leader of the People’s National Congress Reform [PNC/R] unopposed today, Sunday, July 27, after Aubrey Norton pulled out of the race.
Norton cited a flawed voting system, which he said was intended to insure that Granger remains in power.
Majority of Lindeners, who are strong supporters of Norton, made their way out of Congress Place and shouted, “PNC lose Linden forever.”
One supporter told iNews, “I was even shout at…I was pushed out of the way.”
Others alleged that “Granger don’t like the PNC…he never liked the PNC. The whole PNC bruk up now.”
However, Norton made it unequivocally clear that he will not join forces with the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic or the Alliance for Change (AFC).
“Well I have always been PNC but for the first time I have to sit down and think through, I could promise everyone that I have no interest in the PPP, I was never PPP and will never be PPP.
An emotional Norton said the voting system at the PNCR’s 18th Biennial Congress was extremely flawed and this pushed him to abort ship.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Region 10, Sharma Solomon remains adamant that the Norton faction represents the majority of Lindeners, even though this was challenged by a religious leader.
“That might be his opinion on who he represents but the fact of the matter is these are the people who came down from Linden and you have to recognize who they are and they are in their numbers who are here at congress, this is not anything to do with religion or politics,” Solomon told reporters outside Congress Place, Sophia.
He said he has no confidence in the voting process, thus opting out of the race.
“I am probably the only one that is not decked out in a delegate card….I have been following this process this entire week and we were promised until last night 7 o clock…that these matters would have been resolved, I came this morning and I too could not have gotten into the compound because I don’t have a delegates card….I am also a contender in this race and I don’t have a delegates badge which gives me the right to get beyond certain barriers we had to be accompanied by people against the wish of the security personnel to get in the compound”.
The region 10 Chairman noted that he was told by General Secretary of the PNC/R that “my card mysteriously disappeared”.
The Linden strong man Norton said they will take no blame for the non accreditation of its delegates since the process was closed since July 14.
He said the management in the secretariat of the party has to be blamed as he pointed out that a number of discrepancies occurred leading up to the congress.
Vanessa Kission said she will remain a Member of Parliament for A Partnership for National Unity and continue to “speak out and represent region 10”.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament of the APNU and former contender to Granger, Carl Greenidge said “The Party has arrived at a very sad moment.”
He told reporters that the entire process started off on the wrong foot since there was a feeling amongst some members of the Party who believed that the elections were unnecessary.
The second dimension he explained was the old problem of the delegates list, since in 2012 this was highlighted by him (Greenidge) to then leader of the Party, Robert Corbin.
“It cannot be acceptable for you on the morning of the day when elections is to be held for the delegates list to be challenged. You can’t be having new names on the list at this stage and the problem here has to be the secretariat.
“The general secretary that runs such a system and this is unacceptable and Mr. Granger has had two elections and I think it is time that he makes arrangements to ensure that these things do not fall in the arena of being disputed or questioned,” Greenidge said.
He believes that it is time for a new General Secretary of the Party and new rules need to be adopted to ensure the process is fair.
Prior to Norton pulling out of the race, the bodyguard of incumbent Leader, David Granger allegedly fired a single shot in the air to bring calm to the final day of the Congress after the Linden Faction started to protest.