New “young” coalition leadership emerges and won’t accept nonsense- Harmon

Last Updated on Monday, 3 August 2020, 19:20 by Denis Chabrol

General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon has said that new and energetic young people have emerged to take over the helm of the coalition to engage in “aggressive politics” against the People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-led administration.

“During the past campaign that we had, we have discovered , new leadership has emerged in our party and in our coalition; young bright people who would not sit down and accept nonsense,’ he said on a coalition social media page.

Mr. Harmon said he was satisfied that the coalition has been mobilised Guyanese that can deal with a range of issues including Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, fact-based news and security issues.

“I empathise with that anger. I am satisfied also that coming out of all of this is a new breed of Guyanese, Guyanese that will not just accept nonsense, people who would not just accept fraud, who would not just accept fake news, people who would not just accept promises and believe and they would accept that. They will be in your face and that is the kind of leadership I see going forward,” Mr. Harmon said.

As reported here two years ago, many young members of the PNCR have in recent years felt sidelined from key decision-making fora after general elections.

Harmon, once regarded as a close confidante of then President David Granger, said the coalition would press for the creation of a new voters’ list for the next general and regional elections expected to be held in 2025. “We would have to demand and work to ensure a proper census for voters to produce an authentic voters’ list before the next elections and I trust that this election petition, which the President (David Granger) spoke about will be able to bring about an election much quicker because the evidence is there and, therefore, this should not be a five-year term,” he said.

The APNU+AFC coalition had repeatedly said the voters’ list that was eventually used in the 2020 general and regional elections was padded with the names of migrants and deceased. The coalition and its allied Election Commissioners- Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman- had maintained those claims, citing evidence from the Police Force Immigration Department and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages that there was voter impersonation in the March 2, 2020 polls. The coalition has said the absence of statutory documents to reconcile with votes cast has called into question thousands of votes in  a PPP stronghold in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).

The High Court, Guyana Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice had ruled in separate cases that the data from the national vote recount must be used to declare the election results and any grievances can be filed in an election petition to the High Court. Then President David Granger has promised to challenge the results peacefully and lawfully.

Mr. Harmon reiterated the need for unity and multi-ethnic government and to dispel fears of people losing their jobs. Among APNU+AFC’s priorities, he said, include respect for territorial integrity rather than the use of Guyana as a staging ground to destabilise any neighbouring State. Mr. Granger had confirmed that the United States had wanted to use Guyana’s assigned medium wave frequencies to beam Voice of America radio programmes to Venezuela.