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PNCR decides Norton must be Opposition Leader, Representative of the List

Last Updated on Friday, 7 January 2022, 12:44 by Denis Chabrol

FLASH BACK: President David Granger is given a tour of the Madewini Training Centre by Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, Mr. Aubrey Norton

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton on Friday said his party has decided that he should enter the National Assembly as Opposition Leader, and that he should also be the Representative of the List.

“The party Central Executive has decided that the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the party should be one person and that I will meet with the Leader of the Opposition to discuss this issue shortly,” he told a news conference one day after the PNCR’s Central Executive Committee first meeting. The PNCR Leader said, “I know have the competence to go into the National Assembly.”

Mr. Norton said he and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon would be meeting before next week Wednesday.

For his part, Mr. Harmon has already said that he represents more than 218,000 persons who have voted for the coalition rather than just over 1,000 persons who had voted at the PNCR’s recent internal elections.

Then President David Granger and Joseph Harmon. (Demerara Waves picture)

The PNCR Leader said that the Central Executive Committee also decided that he should be the Representative of the List of candidates for A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC). “One of the arguments that they made is that it has been the convention in the party and the second argument is that it provides for better coordination to control the activities of the party and for better strategising to ensure efficacy,” he said.

Mr. Norton said that historically, the PNCR Leader is the Representative of the List but he acknowledged that with the advent of the coalition “there were some compromises that occurred and there are cases where it wasn’t the case.” For the 2020 general and regional elections, then PNCR Leader David Granger had been also the Representative of the List, marking a return to the convention.

The PNCR Leader declined to say whether he was on solid legal grounds that he party leader and the Representative of the List should be one person. “I do not know that in a political party your first line of action is legality and so I don’t need to speculate on that,” he said, adding that he expected the membership to  do “what is in the best interest” of the PNCR.

The major opposition contested the general and regional elections as APNU+AFC  with Mr. Granger as the Representative of the List. Mr. Granger is APNU Chairman and Mr. Harmon is its General Secretary.