PNCR needs new vision; failed to hold gov’t accountable

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 19:44 by Writer

PNCR’s Roysdale Forde speaking with supporters in Brooklyn, New York.

Leader-hopeful for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Roysdale Forde said a vision is needed to stem deep-seated disinterest among youths in that party who are on the other hand, induced by the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) with trinkets.

“Your people are losing consciousness and when we recognise this, as a political party, we will then be able to craft the leadership that is necessary. It must spring forth the vision that is needed to take our people from where we are to where we have to be,” he told a weekend Town Hall meeting in Brooklyn, New York.

Citing the failure to educate youths, provide them with opportunities and care for “our people”, Mr Forde said they do not turn out to vote for the PNCR at elections. “When you look at the election results, significant numbers to the tune of thousands of young people tune out, turn out, beat out, not interested, deh ent deh pon dat, this big thing is stupidness and they gone,” he said.

At the same time, the PNCR Executive Member said they were being enticed by the PPP’s handouts of cash, concert tickets and menial labour contracts. “On the other hand, the rubber barons of the PPP come into the community and tell them ‘the PPP is the best party’, ‘we got a show tonight; ya’ll must come through’, ‘hold on a $25,000, hold on to a $10,000’, ‘you want a contract? come work with we; work under nine of our people to fetch mud out of the trenches’ so your people are losing consciousness,” he said.

Referring to the June 2023 Local Government Elections, Mr Forde bemoaned the fact that the PNCR-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) did not contest 279 Local Authority Areas including the municipality of Lethem, lost Bartica as well as the PPPC’s “uncanny and unacceptable interest in our strongholds”. “We want to behave as if all is well and it’s normal,” he said. Against such a background, he said the PNCR, as a “great” political institution could not continue to exist on past performance. He said the PPP is committed to the destruction of the PNCR and communities, upbringing of children without morals and values and the displacement of nurses and their replacement with nationals from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. In light of those conditions, the prospective nominee for the position of PNCR Leader again advocated street protests. “The only way to deal with the displacement is militancy. The only way to deal with what is unfolding in the country is organisation. The only way to deal with it is aggressiveness,” he said.

In apparent reference to the PNCR’s current leadership under incumbent Aubrey Norton, Mr Forde said over the past two years the PPP has had “free rein when it comes to being confronted by legitimate means of civil disobedience.” “That is not happening. The party is not calling for it, the party is not organising for it,” he said.

Mr Forde said the way forward should include the use of PNCR assets in a manner that brings resources to that party and organise with the Diaspora to maximise lobbying at all levels. “There is a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Making a direct pitch for support to be voted PNCR Leader at the overdue Congress that is slated to be held before August 31, 2024, he made it clear that “I have a track record of fighting and winning and you cannot say that I have worked, I have not fought,” he said.

Apart from the court cases, he said the PNCR’s fight has been one of “deafening” silence, but said he was being “castigated as being a PPP.” “I’m called all sorts of names by persons in the leadership of my very own party because I have a difference of opinion, because I see a different pathway, because I have a different purpose because I see you differently,” he said. On the matter of getting a clean voters list rather than one that allows for multiple and substitute voting, he questioned whether the PNCR had done enough to confront the government. “We need to engage in the establishment of a movement to fight against the electoral list,” he said. That broad-based movement, he said, must include Guyanese in the Diaspora, at home, trade unions, business and religious community to send a clear message to the international community that “we will not participate in elections under that list.”

Mr Forde attributed the current response by the PNCR to the government to poor performance of the “internal mechanism” such as two General Council meetings in two years rather than once per quarter, irregular meetings of the Central Executive Committee.