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Region 10 PNCR extends fence-mending olive branch

Region 10 Chairman, Sharma Solomon

The Region 10 branch of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) on Monday pledged to mend fences after the most chaotic Congress ended with question marks about the integrity of the internal electoral process.

“Congress is over, and we are now faced with the task of moving forward, of mending our rifts, of correcting our weaknesses and building on our strengths to face the national challenges that go over and beyond the challenges we face internally,” said Region 10 Chairman, Sharma Solomon in a statement.

Minutes after Sharma and Aubrey Norton refused to participate in the elections Sunday afternoon, Norton  hinted that for the first time he would have to think where he turns to but certainly never to the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

But Region 10, from where Norton and Solomon draw the bulk of their support, pledged to ensure that the PNCR has a strong democratic structure.

In an apparent response to critics like PNCR Chairman, Basil Williams and former party leader, Robert Corbin that internal party matters should not be ventilated in the media, Sharma said the party was benefitting from free expression. “ As it is, we consider the fact of our members’ willingness to speak out on issues, though not fully attained, a positive for our Party,” he said.

The PNCR Region 10 official noted that Sunday’s internal elections were the worst in its history due to un-resolvable grievances and chaotic outcomes. Pointing out that he was not accredited as a delegate, he claimed that an entire regional delegates list was disenfranchised. ‘This is not the way of the PNCR and it should not be representative of future elections.  The developments that occurred at Congress are now part of the past which we must now put into perspective, review and work diligently to prevent in the future,” he said.

The Region 10 Chairman said his region, considered a bulwark of his party’s support-base, two years ago complained about the electoral processes and other pressing internal matters that Sunday gave rise to the chaos. “Rather unfortunately,  the process of resolving grievances , concerns and decision making in the party have undergone changes that now deny or frustrate participation of all members in  matters that concern their membership and activities in the Party.  This deterioration in governance is made worse with the recent denial of members’ right to vote in a fair, transparent and fearless process to elect a leader of their choice.

Sharma warned that if the party hierarchy continues to make bad decisions that contravene the PNCR’s well established rules and constitution, Region 10 would not relent in its action. “This challenge from Region 10 will continue where and when necessary to strengthen our party’s democracy not to destroy our party but to build its ability to deal with dissent, challenges and changes.

He suggested that the PNCR must not engage in double-standards by calling for good governance. “The PNCR has the means to show how good governance is intended to be.  The people of Region 10 demand this of the PPP/C government. We demand it of our party! We demand it for all Guyana. It is what we deserve. It is the progressive, democratic way forward.  It must represent the New Guyana where leaders are held accountable at all levels,” he said.