PNCR’s Committee of Elders to investigate Vanessa Kissoon’s sexual harassment allegation against Aubrey Norton

Last Updated on Friday, 21 June 2024, 22:15 by Writer

Even as People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member, Vanessa Kissoon is reportedly reluctant to report that she was allegedly sexually harassed by party leader, Aubrey Norton, a committee of elders has been called in to investigate the claim.

“The executive member, at this time, is not inclined to take such measures,” PNCR Central Executive Committee member, Volda Lawrence said in response to a question by Demerara Waves Online News.

The Committee of Elders said it was concerned about the adverse impact of the allegation on the PNCR, saying that as Guyana heads into next year’s general elections that party needs unity and a well-oiled machinery.

The PNCR Leader has denied allegations by party supporter Egland Gomes and Ms Kissoon that he (Norton) had asked Ms Kissoon for sex. She has issued a statement on her own claiming that Mr Gomes’ recollection of a conversation about the alleged incident was accurate.

Elder, Hamilton Green said the investigation could not be completed before the June 28 to 30 PNCR biennial congress and internal elections. He said witnesses could be called to be part of the “swift, impartial and proper inquiry. He dismissed suggestions that the internal inquiry by the elders was a mere face-saving measure but was instead aimed at ensuring justice and equity.

Depending on the outcome of the probe, he said the Committee of Elders could “recommend strong disciplinary action.” “We have no interest in leader and who is not leader,” said Mr Green who was once expelled from the PNC shortly after his party lost the 1992 general and regional elections. Years after Mr Hoyte died, he re-entered the PNCR.

Ms Norton said the internal investigation would have no bearing on Mr Norton’s candidacy for the post of leader or the congress. “The elders will speak with both parties. It has nothing to do with congress,” he said.

A former PNC General Secretary and former Prime Minister of Guyana, Mr Green said he has gone as far as recommending that all resources be put at the disposal of the inquiry for the accused and the complainant take lie detector tests.

The Committee of Elders include Mr Green, Cheryl Sampson, Jeffrey Thomas and Robert Corbin.