Last Updated on Friday, 8 September 2023, 10:35 by Denis Chabrol
The People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) congress to elect a new leader and other executive members could be held this year but there is a chance it could spill over into early next year, party sources said Friday.
While sources said the circular to party groups notifying them of a date for congress is yet to be dispatched, party General Secretary Dawn Hastings-Williams would only say that that document has not yet been dispatched. “Not at the moment, we are still in the preparation,” she told Demerara Waves Online News.
Asked whether there was a timeframe within which the circular would be sent, the General Secretary said, “I can’t comment on that either.” She said “we’re working towards” holding congress by December 2023- that’s constitutionally two years after the last congress was held.
She and other party sources confirmed that the circular must be sent to party groups within three months of the date on which congress would be held. Ms Hastings-Williams added that a General Council meeting has to be held “any time soon” and “hopefully” this month before congress is timetabled.
General Council meetings are constitutionally due to be held every quarter, but none has been held since August 2022 . Party sources said the PNCR is cash strapped and could not afford just over GY$2 million to run off one of those meetings. PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton recently held meetings and fundraisers in the United States.
In addition to a General Council meeting and the sending out of the circular for them to select their delegates and observers, the PNCR’s congress machinery entails verification and approval of delegates and observers that would be selected by groups, dispatch of nomination forms, agreement on the returning officer for congress, and the establishment of membership, and transportation and logistics committees.
Mr Norton is expected to be challenged for the position of Leader by Attorneys-at-Law Amanza Walton-Desir and Roysdale Forde. Mr Forde has been seen on several outreaches on the coastland and the interior. Accompanying him in Lethem recently was Ms Volda Lawrence, widely regarded as an influential endorser among party groups and ordinary members.
Also seemingly in the Forde camp are PNCR General Secretary Hastings, former Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Naraine, and parliamentarians Natasha Singh-Lewis, Ganesh Mahipaul and Maureen Philadelphia