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PNCR Leader goes on “leave of absence”, but sources say Congress cannot be delayed

Last Updated on Thursday, 2 September 2021, 14:03 by Denis Chabrol

Mr. David Granger

The Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, David Granger has gone on leave of absence and the party will decide who will be responsible, Central Executive member Joseph Harmon confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Sources said his leave takes effect from September 1, and he has not said when it would conclude.

Asked who would be at the helm of the PNCR, Mr. Harmon said “the party has mechanisms” and that it is not automatic that the Chairman of that party would  take over the leadership. “The Leader will basically make that announcement…. no, it’s not automatic,” he said.

He said Mr. Granger is due to either hold a news conference or provide details on his weekly Public Interest television programme on Friday.

Neither PNCR General Secretary Amna Ally nor its Chairman could be reached for comment immediately.

Mr. Granger has reportedly cited the need for extensive rest as the reason  due to his cancerous health condition for his decision to take what he termed “leave of absence” from September 1. Mr. Granger was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2018 and since then has undergone intensive treatment in Cuba.

President David Granger and Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence. (File photo 2020)

The decision comes at a time when the PNCR’s Central Executive Committee has not met for  the entire August, 2021 when it should have met to discuss a special committee on report on the holding of Congress by November, 2021.

However, a well-placed source said “leave of absence” falls within the category of “other circumstances” that would left up to the Central Executive Committee to make regulations and bylaws as it sees fit.

The source, however, stressed that given the fact that congress is recommended to be held in November, the PNCR Chairman Ms. Lawrence would have to assume responsibilities and together with the Central Executive Committee prepare for Congress to be held without delay.

With Mr. Harmon saying that the Chairman taking over the leadership is not automatic, the Central Executive Committee source said it is clear that “without any further analysis, the chairman will carry out the functions of the leader and the party will prepare for congress because congress is overdue. ”

Central Executive Committee members Dr. Richard Vanwest Charles and Aubrey Norton have stated that they would be contesting for the position of Congress whenever it is held. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Granger have not stated whether she would be vying for the top post.