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PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton now APNU Chairman; Harmon gives up General Secretary post

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January 2022, 15:26 by Denis Chabrol

Mr. David Granger and Mr. Joseph Harmon. (Demerara Waves picture)

The leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Aubrey Norton was Tuesday elected Chairman of the umbrella A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), after Mr. David Granger stepped down.

APNU General Secretary, Joseph Harmon also stepped down as General Secretary of that loosely-knit coalition of the PNCR, the major party, and several small and little known parties.

“The substantive agenda saw the passing of the baton for the continuation and development of coalition politics as Mr. David Granger and Mr. Joseph Harmon reported their decision to demit office as Chair and General Secretary of the APNU,” APNU said in a statement following their first executive council meeting for 2022.

Sources, however, said that Mr. Granger would remain the Representative of the List of candidates for APNU+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) and so far Mr. Harmon remains Guyana’s Opposition Leader.

It is left to be seen whether Mr. Harmon, not being a PNCR Executive Member or General Secretary of APNU, would  resign from the post of Opposition Leader.

The Executive Council requested that Mr. Harmon continues as General Secretary for seven days to facilitate the smooth transition to a new General Secretary.  However, Mr. Granger “demitted office with immediate effect paving the way for the election of a new Chair.”

At that APNU meeting were Mr. Granger, Mr. Harmon, Mr. Norton, as well as Mr. Jaipaul Sharma of the Equal Rights and Justice Party, Mr. Vincent Henry of the Guyana Action Party, Mrs. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley of
Guyana Nation Builders and Mr. Keith Scott of the National Front Alliance.

The PNCR, prior to its recently-held Congress, had not recognised the Equal Rights and Justice Party and the Guyana National Builders and top officials had accused Mr. Granger of ignoring an agreement by the PNCR Executive to put on hold that decision to admit those two unknown parties.

APNU said its Executive thanked the outgoing Chair and General Secretary for their role in advancing the idea of the APNU to what it is today. “It was noted that their astute leadership saw the growth of the APNU and the acceptance of the populace to coalition politics which resulted in an increase in votes from 2011 to 2020,”  APNU said.

A senior PNCR official has  said that the Working People’s Alliance and the Justice For All Party have been invited to rejoin APNU. However, the Justice For All Party has turned down that invitation citing grounds of ill-health of Leader CN Sharma. The WPA has said it has to first discuss the invitation internally.