PNCR’s Vanwest Charles says ‘no current barriers’ to holding Congress

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 July 2021, 20:26 by Denis Chabrol

Executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Dr. Richard Vanwest Charles has suggested that since the 2020 general and regional elections, his party has fallen somewhat into unconstitutional mode because its Congress is now long overdue.

“I would not say a crisis but I would say there is a deviation from the constitutional requirements and hence has damaged our effectiveness somewhat,” he said in response to Politics 101 David Hinds’ question on Tuesday whether the PNC was facing a crisis.

Expressing confidence that his party’s Congress could and “must” be held this year, the executive member cited the need for the Executive Committee to get a fresh mandate from delegates. “It must happen before the end of the year and it can happen and it’s long overdue constitutionally and, therefore, it is important for the stability of the organisation,” he said.

Dr. Vanwest Charles’ assessment comes against the backdrop of the PNCR not holding  its Biennial Delegates Congress to, among other things, elect a new Central Executive. The Congress should have been held in August, 2020.

The PNCR Leader David Granger and its General Secretary Amna Ally have repeatedly cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the major reason for their party not yet holding a Congress.

Dr Vanwest Charles , who was the chairman of an ad hoc committee to work out arrangements for the Congress, says there is nothing currently to prevent Congress from being held this year. “At this juncture, I do not see any barriers for it not to happen,” he said. He added that there are “great expectations” by members for a Congress to be held to take the PNCR in a direction that they want it to go.

Dr. Vanwest Charles, who is the son-in-law of the PNCR’s late Founder-Leader Forbes Burnham says the leadership of that party needs to be changed to deal with contemporary issues. “There must be some reorganisation within the PNC to respond  to the new challenges of the 21st century in terms of the leadership that is required at the local, at the regional and at the national levels especially with the resources that are about to emerge and to ensure that all Guyanese will have an opportunity to sit at the table and taste of the bread,” he said.

Dr. Vanwest Charles, fellow executive member Aubrey Norton and incumbent Mr. Granger have already indicated that they are available to contest for the leadership of the PNCR.

The PNCR Executive Member says it is unacceptable for Guyana to have 35 percent poverty although the country is very rich in resources.