Last Updated on Thursday, 12 January 2023, 15:17 by Denis Chabrol
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Aubrey Norton said the No Confidence Motion (NCM) filed against him in the name of the Florida Chapter is not valid because that group did not meet and that a party leader could only be removed by a Congress.
“The party group in Florida never met and passed any no-confidence motion… so it does appear to me that it is a public relations stunt,” he told a news conference. He added that there was no quorum of a minimum of seven members.
Mr Norton’s reaction to the now almost one-week old NCM that was moved by Florida Chapter Chairman John Yates, seconded by Lawrence ‘Larry’ London, was passed through the North American Region (NAR) and circulated to the Central Executive for consideration. The Leader said Mr Yates and Mr London are “linked to certain sections in the party for the want of a better word and they have a right to do that but if it is to occur, it should occur within the party rules,” he said. The PNCR Leader indicated that he could only be removed constitutionally at a Special Congress which could be called by two-thirds of the party’s groups and an election is held at that decision-making forum.
When contacted, Mr London told Demerara Waves Online News that there was no formal meeting of the Florida Chapter as the members are scattered across the United States, but the motion was circulated among 32 members before it was dispatched. “We round-robin the members. It wasn’t a formal meeting. The members of this group are spread all over South Florida and some are outside of South Florida so we didn’t have a formal meeting,” he said. He dismissed the PNCR Leader’s view that the motion amounted to a public relations stunt but said “whatever Mr Norton wants to do is fine by me; whatever the membership of the party wants to do is also fine with me.” On whether the Leader could only be removed from office by a Congress or Special Congress, Mr London doubted that the PNCR’s Constitution states so specifically.
Mr London, a retired army pilot and Lieutenant Colonel, said if the party membership believed that the leader was not mismanaging the PNCR, he was prepared to live by that decision after doing what is important and necessary. “People know that the party is not doing well and we need to do something about it,” he said. If the NCM goes no where, Mr London said that would not improve the condition of the party that he has been a member of since 1964 but which has been reduced to a “laughing stock” by some people and losing members. “If they want to thrash it, let them go right ahead. Let them thrash it,” he said. Instead, he suggested that the PNCR Leader self-examines himself to determine what is being said in the motion is “garbage or is true and take appropriate action.”
Mr Norton strongly suggested that those who are behind the NCM are his internal party opponents. “Time has to be given for some people to heal.” Mr Norton said he won “overwhelmingly” at the Congress that was held in December 2021 and after that he sought to bridge the divide. “I have attempted to engage persons who even didn’t support me as party leader and I will continue to work with our party to build it,” he said. Mr Joseph Harmon and Dr Richard Van West Charles had challenged Mr Norton who had been the front-runner from the inception.
Mr London said that he has “no personal grudge or grouse” against anyone and that his “first love is for the party.” He confirmed receiving a 5 PM Wednesday, January 11, 2022 ultimatum to withdraw the motion but he refused to do so. “The motion stands. Nobody is withdrawing anything,” he said.
The NCM calls on Mr Norton to resign for failing to keep his promise to unite the party, mobilize for key political events, keep the regional structures alive and hold CEC meetings frequently. “The Party’s image has been severely tarnished and a large number of our Members, supporters and sympathizers have lost interest in this party. The business community from whom we got significant support has been withholding that support,” the motion states.