Roysdale Forde team writes PNCR about “lack” of transparency for internal elections

Last Updated on Friday, 7 June 2024, 21:48 by Writer

Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde

The Roysdale Forde Campaign team has raised concerns about the transparency of the upcoming People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) internal elections, but a chief party spokesman on Friday sought to assure that they were being addressed internally.

“The arrangements and the procedures for Congress lack transparency and appear to be shrouded in mystery,” Mr Forde’s Deputy Campaign Manager, Annette Ferguson told the PNCR General Secretary, Dawn Hastings-Williams.

The overdue congress is scheduled for June 28 to 30.

Efforts by Public Relations Director, Sherwood Lowe to assure that the issues raised were being dealt with followed a formal request on June 2, 2024 for an “investigation into these matters and an urgent response” by Ms Ferguson.

Multiple sources in the Forde campaign said that to date there has been no response to the letter.

But Mr Lowe said, while he could not divulge details of internal party business, he has seen party communication indicating that the Forde campaign concerns were being addressed.

Ms Ferguson claimed, in her correspondence, that the membership for party groups are inaccurate, and several members whose membership expired are being denied renewal. She also complained that regional officials have renewed membership selectively without the knowledge of group leaders.

In Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), according to Ms Ferguson, groups were allegedly forced by a party official to conduct their nomination without the presence of the substantive chairperson.

Groups in Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice), she alleged were forced to conduct their nominations on June 2nd, 2024 despite Circular 1
dated May 17th, 2024 which states that the date for the submission of nominees for position in the party is Monday June 10th 2024.

The Forde Campaign has also questioned the composition of the Accreditation and Electoral Committees. However, other party sources told Demerara Waves Online News that it is well-known that Mr Vincent Alexander is head of the Electoral Committee and Mr Mortimer Mingo the head of the Accreditation Committee. The sources said Messrs. Alexander and Mingo are free to name other members who are not contesting for any position on the Central Executive Committee.

The Forde Campaign Team again objected to incumbent party leader, Aubrey Norton being Chairman of the Congress Director. “It cannot go unnoticed that the leader Aubrey Norton has signaled his intention to seek reelection for the position of leader and has appointed himself as Congress Director. This amounts to appointing yourself Chairman of the Elections Commission whilst contesting the very elections,” Ms Ferguson said.

But the PNCR Leader said that was nothing new as then party leader Desmond Hoyte had served as Congress Director while he was General Secretary.

Meanwhile, the Forde Campaign questioned the party membership of Mr Stanley Paul, a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in the 2020 general and regional elections. Mr Paul participated in a tense and sometimes heated meeting of the PNCR’s Alberttown Group, after Georgetown District Chairman Troy Garraway confirmed that his membership is valid until 2026.

Confirmation was sought after former Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine objected to Mr Paul’s eligibility because the Alberttown Group’s records showed that Mr Paul’s financial membership had expired on May 31, 2021.

Mr Paul confirmed to Demerara Waves Online News that the vote was split evenly for Mr Forde and incumbent party leader, Aubrey Norton, to be nominated. The tie, he said, was broken after the group chairman used his casting vote.

The PNCR’s Public Relations Director said he had no knowledge about Mr Paul’s membership issue and could not comment.