Last Updated on Saturday, 23 October 2021, 22:10 by Denis Chabrol
Long-serving People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member, Aubrey Norton on Saturday scoffed at Mr. Roysdale Forde’s suggestion that he would transform that party into an Afro-Guyanese political organisation if he wins the leadership.
Mr. Norton stopped short of openly accusing Mr. Forde of being ignorant of his track-record of backing Indo-Guyanese in their party over the years. “Mr. Forde is too new to the PNCR to know that in 2006 I organized a conference in our Party at the Critchlow Labour College with the Indo Guyanese in our Party on how we could increase the Indo Guyanese base in our Party,” said Mr. Norton who has been a PNCR member since the 1970s.
The former PNCR General Secretary frowned on Mr. Forde’s apparent warning to avoid anyone who was issuing a “grassroots” appeal as that could see the party retaining or acquiring the image of “Black people party”.
“I find it laughable but mischievous that Mr. Roysdale Forde insinuated that the PNCR under my leadership would turn the Party into a Black Party. If Mr. Forde was in the PNCR long enough he would have known that Mr. Winston Murray was an Indo-Guyanese who Aubrey Norton supported for Leader of the PNCR,” he said.
Mr. Forde has openly endorsed Mr. Harmon for the leadership of the PNCR at its long-overdue Congress slated for early December, 2021.
Mr. Norton recalled having lead Mr. Murray’s campaign to “make him what would have been the first Indo Guyanese Leader of the PNCR when some Mr. Forde was speaking to were busy fighting against Murray.
In what is now emerging a straight fight between Mr. Harmon and Mr. Norton, the latter said that as General Secretary of the PNC in 1997, he had worked with the “non-traditional party support group” to take Indo-Guyanese to that party.
“Throughout my involvement in politics, I have always promoted the idea of a PNCR and country for all Guyanese… No spreading of misinformation can change the facts,” said Mr. Norton, adding that “PNCR members and supporters will not be misled by Mr. Forde’s misinformation.”
The PNC still largely remains a predominantly Afro-Guyanese political party.
Mr. Norton has already stated that no one has ever accused him of racially discriminating against him during the periods that he had worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Guyana. At the same time, he has argued that nothing is wrong with being race-conscious.
Both Mr. Norton and Mr. Harmon have been promising to rebuild the PNCR.