PNC sets date for long-overdue Congress

PNC Leader David Granger

The People’s National Congress Reform has announced that the Party’s Central Executive Committee, at its most recent meeting held yesterday, approved the recommendations for the holding of the Party’s 22nd Biennial Congress by the end of November 2021, but not later than 13th December 2021.

The PNC, in a statement, said the consideration for this period is linked to the Thanksgiving weekend in the USA “which is a special occasion for our members living in the United States”.

“The Congress will be for delegates only, decentralised, and hybrid. It will be conducted over one day at Party Congress Houses in the respective regions,” the PNC said.

The PNC’s last biennial congress was in 2018, where former President David Granger was returned unopposed as leader of the party. At that elections, the then Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence was elected Chairperson of the PNC. It is widely believed she could be a contender for leader this year.

Lawrence had competed against former Chairman Basil Williams, and now Opposition Leader Harmon, securing the Chairmanship with 346 votes, while Harmon and Williams secured 287 and 183 votes respectively.

At that Congress, Dr Richard Van West-Charles, Dr Karen Cummings, now Opposition Chief Whip Christopher Jones, Aubrey Norton, Winston Felix, Amna Ally, Mortimer Mingo, Clement Corlette, Cheryl Sampson, Thandi Mc Allister, Gary Best, Genevieve Allen, Jennifer Ferreira-Dougal, Edward Collins, and Basil Blackman were elected to the 15-member CEC.

Dr Richard Van West-Charles, a PNC executive and son-in-law of the Party’s founder Forbes Burnham, has already thrown his hat in the ring against incumbent Granger for the leadership of the party.

Another PNC executive Aubrey Norton also announced his interest in the top job. Norton, who had challenged for leadership of the party and lost to Granger in 2014, has said that there is a need for a new political culture. He was of the view that he could usher in this new political culture, as leader of the PNC.

Granger, who left office in August 2020, after a five-month battle in Guyana for democracy to prevail, has been facing pressure from within the party and has suffered a sharp drop in popularity, over the loss of the 2020 General and Regional elections after just one term in office.