Sixteen days after Mr Joseph Harmon was co-opted to sit on the executive of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), he on Wednesday confirmed that he would be officially voted in as Opposition Leader when the National Assembly meets for the first time following the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.
Appearing on an APNU+AFC coalition social media page, Mr Harmon announced that the 31 coalition parliamentarians have already met and decided that he would be officially voted in as Opposition Leader. “Internally, among all of our MPs I have been nominated and seconded by our MPs (Members of Parliament) to be that person,” he said.
He explained that that decision would be formalised at the first parliamentary sitting.
Mr Harmon and former government minister Simona Broomes were co-opted to sit on the PNCR’s executive, just days after he had indicated that a number of bright, young and aggressive people had emerged during the APNU+AFC’s election campaign. Days later, the PNCR unveiled its list of parliamentarians that did not include several former ministers and PNCR executive members such as the Leader David Granger, Chairman Volda Lawrence, General Secretary Amna Ally and Aubrey Norton.
Prominent PNCR members Lurlene Nestor and James Bond have been vocal about the APNU+AFC defeat at the general elections and Mr Bond has gone as far as calling his party leader dictatorial and authoritarian.
For his part, Mr Granger said the would-be parliamentarians would be standing up to the incumbent People’s Progressive Party-Civic (PPPC). “This is not a time that the PPP would be happy to be in government. They’ll be very uncomfortable time(s) by the fact that they are unprepared to manage this country in a proper way,” said Mr Harmon, a former Minister of State and Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency.
Mr Harmon had said he surrendered his American citizenship to be on the list of candidates for the elections.
He indicated that APNU+AFC would “push” to dislodge the PPP from office before the next general elections scheduled for 2025. “I will be out there. I will be in the face of the PPP. I will be in the face of the Guyanese public to let them know at every turn of events what is happening in our country and what we are doing about it,” said Harmon, a former army officer and attorney-at-law.
The PNCR Leader has been often cited as avoiding lengthy media engagements such as news conferences and the public in the field, while his main PPP opponent Bharrat Jagdeo and Irfaan Ali had been dominating the media and engaging in numerous outreaches across the country.
A PNCR news conference planned for earlier this week was called off minutes before and so far has not been rescheduled. Mr Granger’s interaction with the public since the PPP was declared the winner has been through a video statement on Facebook and two interviews one of which was with a party supporter.