PNCR’s congress on track “barring an act of God”, despite General Secretary’s resignation

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2024, 12:52 by Writer

Mr Sherwin Benjamin

The People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) congress, including its internal elections, is on track for June 28 to 30, despite the resignation of that party’s General Secretary, Dawn Hastings-Williams, Congress Administrator, Sherwin Benjamin said Tuesday.

“Everything, as far as I am aware, is on schedule for the congress…I don’t see, barring an act of God, Congress not being held as per scheduled,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Asked what guarantees were there for a free, fair and transparent election, he said any discrepancies would be addressed by group chairmen.

Ms Hastings-Williams, Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde and Volda Lawrence were late last year on an outreach in Lethem. Mr Forde eventually announced his candidacy for the post of leader but garnered 20 nominations compared to incumbent leader Aubrey Norton’s 177.

He said Ms Hastings-Williams had handed over the membership register, “albeit with hiccups” to the Congress Committee. “Even though it was a couple days late because we were trying to fix the hiccups, the delegates list should be out and published with the groups by lunch today to see whether they want to make any changes to the delegates they have submitted to the congress committee,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

There are an estimated maximum of 1,300 delegates.

Mr Vincent Alexander on Tuesday confirmed to Demerara Waves Online News that he is the Returning Officer.

IN LETHEM: Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde (green shirt), Dawn Hastings-Williams (to Mr Forde’s left) and Ms Volda Lawrence in background (to Mr Forde’s right)

The delegates list, which should have been published by Monday, is linked to verified membership records to ensure membership is up to date up to May 31, 2024 because historically membership commences June 1 to May 31 to allow for a grace period ahead of a congress that is usually held in August.

“The membership has been verified”, he said, saying that all that was left to be done is for those to be “keyed” into a database. Those inputted in the database so far are membership records from Regions One, Two, Three, parts of Region Four, Regions Five, Seven, Eight, Nine, part of Region 10, overseas groups, and the National Congress of Women.

Security, traffic management, catering, accommodation, cleansing and beautification had already been finalised, he said. “I don’t see a resignation per se affecting the holding of a congress,” Mr Benjamin said. He said all motions and questions have been submitted and sent to Attorney-at-Law Basil Williams.

Sources said Ms Hastings-Williams’ concerns had never been raised at the PNCR’s Central Executive Committee, and issues raised formally with her by Mr Forde’s campaign team should have been dispatched by her to the various groups to be addressed.

Other nominations f0r the position of leader were Amanza Walton-Desir, nine; Volda Lawrence, one; Carl Greenidge, four; Gary Best, two, and Simona Broomes, two.