Roysdale Forde camp raises concern about PNCR Leader as Congress Director, North American Region disbanded

Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2024, 9:15 by Writer

Left to right: Ganesh Mahipaul, Roysdale Forde and Aubrey Norton

Concerns were Friday raised about People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Aubrey Norton being Congress Director for next month’s party congress which would elect a leader and other officers for the next two years.

Congress is scheduled for June 28 to 30.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the disbanding of the North American Region (NAR) of the PNCR because it is now an incorporated entity. Party sources said that instead, a directive has been given for party groups in Canada and the United States to deal directly with the Central Executive.

Already, Mr Norton had said that there would be no virtual participation in next month’s congress which means that delegates would have to travel to Guyana to participate in the three-day event.

Mr Eugene Gilbert, the campaign manager for Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde, also told the PNCR General Secretary Dawn Hastings-Williams that questions surrounding the removal of a computer processing unit (CPU) that contains the party’s membership register has not been properly addressed and that could result in trouble for the party.

“There is no substantial and credible explanation for this and or measures to assess the damage done, if any, and what corrective mechanism must be put in place to ensure integrity of the list, but yet congress and election have been called. This is a recipe for serious disruption within the Party,” Mr Gilbert said.

He raised concerns about the party leader, who is one of the principal contenders, with day-to-day access to the Party’s business, assigning himself the task of Congress Director. “This is akin to the President of Guyana assigning him/herself the role as Chairman of GECOM,” he said.

Mr Gilbert, a once prominent PNCR member in the 1970s and 1980s during the leadership of Forbes Burnham, suggested that that amounted to a conflict of interest and a pathway to dictatorship. “The members and Party cannot be so myopic as not to recognise the implications of the Leader, in the capacity of a contender, being the Congress Director. This has never before happened in the Party and will now be a dangerous precedent being set to establish the stage for dictatorial leadership, if not for Mr. Norton, for anyone who is likely to follow,” he said.

Against that background, the Roysdale Forde campaign manager recommended to the General Secretary that Mr Norton recuse himself from the position as Congress Director, restore preparations for the Congress in the hands of the General Secretary who will be assisted by an able and non-partisan committee, agreed to by all contesting for the leadership of the Party; contestants for the post of the leadership be given immediate access to and review the membership list, and review the time for holding of the election given the tasks, such as the customary one-month review of membership.

Mr Gilbert recalled that Mr. Aubrey Norton had raised concerns about internal PNCR election malpractice and so he should avoid being labelled as an election rigger. “It’s therefore in Mr. Norton’s best interest to avoid being further accused or suspected of attempting to subvert the will of the Party electorate as he would have accused others of doing,” he said in the letter that was copied to Mr Norton, the Central Executive, General Council Members, PNCR Members of Parliament, PNCR Regional, NDCs and Town Councillors, Regional Party Leaders,
Group Leaders and Party Elders.