PNCR Chairmanship: Basil Williams challenges Lawrence, Harmon to debate; says no need to change winning team

Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 11:19 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney General, Basil Williams (Guyana Chronicle photo).

Incumbent People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Chairman, Basil Williams on Wednesday called for a debate with contenders who want to dislodge him from his party’s second highest elected post.

“Who wants to challenge me must show their track record of achievements for the PNC,” he said, adding that party members should be given an opportunity to hear a debate by the contestants.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

“People must come and tell the membership why they want (People must vote for them),” he said.

Williams is being challenged by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence.

Williams, who is also Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, is banking on his track record of legal representations to get him back into office.  “I have always been having victories. I’m know, you know; people know me. I am known. You know my work,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News. He recalled having worked free of charge two years in the Rodney Commission of Inquiry, Linden Commission of Inquiry, five years for the Mark Benschop treason trial and for Globe Trust members. “I don’t know why you all keep forgetting my record but, as they say, the PNC people and the PNC members are very sensible people,” he said.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence

Williams further argued that there was no need to replace him or change the current office-holders because it was the same team that helped propel the PNCR to victory at the May, 2015 general and regional elections. The PNCR, which is part of A Partnership for National Unity, is in a coalition government with the Alliance For Change. “Don’t forget that this current executive that took us into office and if were good enough after twenty-three years to take us into government, why after three years, when we at ready to look at the last two years to look at reelection, why would you want to change the team. You don’t change a winning team,” he said.

Harmon has declined to speak with the media about his campaign for the PNCR chairmanship, but one of his strongest supporters regard him as someone who represents the ideals of their party’s founder leader, Forbes Burnham.

In an apparent response to opponents that he is a ‘just come’ to the party, Harmon’s campaigners have said that he had been a PNCR member since the 1970s.

Should the PNCR leader resign or no longer able to hold office, the chairman acts as leader for a period until a special Congress is held to elect a new leader.