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Gaining, retaining power “big questions” for PNCR- Granger

President David Granger

President David Granger has charged the North American Region of the People’s National Congress Reform – the largest party in the governing coalition- to examine the past and future strategies for remaining in office, even as he pledged his firm commitment to the ideals of his party’s Founder Leader, Forbes Burnham.

“Whatever you will choose to discuss today and the weeks and months to come, I think there are several questions that you have to ask yourself as you look to the future. You have to ask yourself how did the PNC gain office in 1964. Ask yourself how did the PNC remain in office and what did it do during that period Ask yourself how the PNC regained office in 2015 and ask yourself how would the PNC retain office after 2020.

These are big questions. These are big questions. It’s not guess work. This is spade work. This calls for the work of all our members and our regions,” he said in an address to the 5th Biennial Conference of the PNCR’s North American Region (NAR) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The PNC secured power in 1964 through a coalition with The United Force (TUF) before that political arrangement and collapsed and since then critics have long accused the PNC of retaining power through rigged elections until 1992.  During the 1997 general elections, then PPP Presidential candidate, Janet Jagan had warned party faithful in the Corentyne against splitting the vote.

Following Granger’s controversial unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the Alliance For Change (AFC) and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), which are also part of the governing coalition, have vowed to remain vigilant against any electoral malpractices.

The WPA has gone as far as saying that it would pull out of the coalition if there are any electoral irregularities but  ruled out teaming up with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).


President Granger said “the most important decision” and “burning question” to be made is whether the PNC is a Burnhamite party and if he is a Burnhamite. He said at one time he was convinced that people only joined the PNC because Burnham died and “boasted about their resistance, objection and they tried to embrace something new” with a number of them even opposing the use of the word “comrade”.

“They boasted about it. They boasted about their resistance, objection and they tried to embrace something new. Some people actually opposed the use of the word comrade. Some people repudiated a lot of the ideas and ideals that Forbes Burnham introduced into our party. Some people tried to de-Burnhamise the PNC and you know what I’m talking about,”

Remarking that even within the last several years when he established the Berbice Educational Scholarship Trust, Burnham Book Trust and Burnham Research Institute, Granger said “some people decided to stand aside”. However, the Guyanese leader pledged to promote his party Founder Leader’s ideas that are relevant to what Guyana had became.

“I intend to protect and preserve and promote those ideals which I believe are still valid,” he said to applause.

After Burnham died in August 1985, the PNCR appeared to have underwent an ideological shift from socialism to a market-oriented economy under Desmond Hoyte who succeeded him as party leader and President until 1992. Years later, Hoyte had attracted a group of professionals and businessmen as the Reform component of the party.

Burnham has been credited with leading Guyana into independence and republican status, developing and providing free education and health care, promoting multiculturalism, building high quality housing, developing physical infrastructure, establishing a robust foreign policy, creating the Caribbean Community (Caricom), restoring political peace and reconciliation, and promoting local food production and consumption.

“My brothers and sisters, that is where I take my ideas from, my ideology from and it’s good for you to know that. The PNC is not a fly-by-night party. The PNC is a party of historical depth and vision,” Granger said.

However, Burnham’s detractors said his administration was responsible for rigged elections, human rights abuses of critics and political opponents, violation of press freedom, economic collapse, the banning or import restriction of basic food items.

  • dougla

    Seems like dis Ole Burnhamite is resurrecting Burnham’s Junbee of Rigging, banning, discrimination, Bullyism and so on, Na going wuk dis time around Ole man,,,

  • Madman

    Past strategies? Ideals of Burnham? And you still wonder why we think he plans on rigging the elections?

  • MyFun1

    Burnham also destroyed the Economic well being of the Country. Dogwood you are a Historian do not repeat the political mistakes Burnham made or you are doomed to failure. Treat the Guyanese people with respect & give them the right to elect their leaders, in otherwards do not RIG elections as Burnham & the PNC did.

  • Truth !

    this is a 1 term govt.
    kick dem out in 2020
    under burnham and jagan and baRAT guyana became and continues to be a hellhole … a failed state … 51+ years of racism,bribery,corruption,backwardness
    pnc will never win a free and fair election
    pnc have to rig or colate to govern
    so far they a a F govt. = nothing new – exchange not change

  • Patriot

    I wonder what else the AFC needs to hear.

    Granger: “You have to ask yourself how did the PNC gain office in 1964. Ask yourself how did the PNC remain in office and what did it do…Ask yourself how the PNC regained office in 2015 and ask yourself how would the PNC retain office in 2020.”

    They got in by coalition in 1964
    They rigged from 1964 to pre-1992 to stay in power as a single party
    They got into power in 2015 through coalition
    What will they do in 2020 to stay in power as a single party? RIG !!!

    And it has started with the unilateral appointment of the GECOMM chair !!

    Time for the AFC to walk away before it is too late..

  • Emile_Mervin

    Dear President Granger,

    Burnham died a failure in 1985. He did have some good ideas and intentions for Guyana, but he failed to deliver on most of his promises because of a combination of circumstances, not least of which was himself.

    You have an opportunity to now shape and share a vision for Guyana based on circumstances that are different from Burnham’s era. You have a Coalition government in a world where global economics are different. There’s no more communism versus democracy or socialism versus capitalism.

    Indeed, there are residual elements of the Cold War era who yearn to resurrect an ideology akin to communism, and God help this world if they are allowed to replace democracy and free market system.

    No one in Guyana wants to hear about Burnhamism as part of any national strategy. Get your own brand, dammit, even if it incorporates Burnham’s self-reliance concepts. Just fine tune, rebrand and sell. To run around the place urging folks to embrace Burnhamism without explaining exactly what you mean will confuse and chase people from around you, because many of the people in the diaspora are there because of Burnhamism.

    I don’t know if you failed Burnham in the past and feel this need to appease his spirit, but you keep talking about Burnhamism and you will be a one-term President. Again, sir, use this time to develop and deliver on the Granger Doctrine designed to deal with these times. The majority of youths today have no clue about Burnhamism. Get with the program.

    • Ashwan Singh

      It’s too late Emile! Before that man was helped by the AFC, to the position he is in, I was saying that he worships Burnham, because of his actions.

      Granger has dug his political grave! He invokes Forbes Burnham to the detriment of his party. It’s sad, because Guyana deserves better. The only support he will keep will be coming from those who support a racial supremist settlement of this debacle that the country is in.

      For the PNC and David Granger to think that Guyana, and indeed the world, does not understand what he is about vis-a-vis the appointment of James Patterson as Chairman of Gecom, is a sad and shameful assessment of the mind of proper political thinking.

      He is a shameful politician who is, sad to say, of the same depraved and unbalanced thinking of dictators of by gone days.

      I am sure the world is watching, for the Cold War was put to rest over twenty eight years ago !

  • Col123

    RIG BABY RIG!….RIG BABY RIG!……we got your back!

    • Ashwan Singh

      Oh God ! He’s back ! Can’t you be quiet for just a bit ? Don’t make me start to have to pray for you again !!

  • brain dead idiot

    we all in the same boat

  • Big Mouth

    Hold free and fair elections every time.