“To our leader, I will walk side by side with you and I will bring the women with me and we will carry you.”
These were the words of newly elected Chairperson for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Volda Lawrence to unchallenged leader of the party David Granger following elections during the final day of the PNCR’s 20th Biennial Delegates Congress.
After a late start due to a power outage, voting got underway about 11:00h on Sunday and at about 01:00h on Monday, the votes were tabulated and Lawrence emerged victorious in front of former Chairman, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams; and bypassing fellow contender, Minister of State Joseph Harmon.
Lawrence, who is the Public Health Minister, secured 346 votes; while Harmon got 287, and Williams secured 183 votes.
The newly elected chairperson told the media that the result was not a surprise to her since she was expecting to be victorious. In her first address as PNCR Chairperson, she said she brings “heart for the people” as she pledged to work with the party.
“I pledge to walk the walk and to talk the talk to ensure that we remain in Government… I also pledge to work with our leader and leaders to ensure that we address the needs of our people and we all work together in unity,” she asserted.
Sunday’s election was a historic one within the PNCR since not only was a female chairperson elected for the first time but the party’s also voted for a female Vice Chairperson in Junior Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson, who secured 260 votes while Dr George Norton was elected the 2nd Vice Chairman with 242 votes.
Meanwhile, President Granger said the election of these two women to the top positions of the party is a reflection of his and Government’s commitment to gender equality. This, he noted, is evident to the fact he appointed for the first time female Senior Counsels and this year’s national awardees were dominated by females.
The Head of State further stated that while the three Ministers were contending for the party’s chairmanship post as rivals, they are colleagues in his Cabinet and thus understand their duty to build a better country.
In addition to these newly elected members, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan was re-elected as the party’s Treasurer, as his position was unopposed.