PNCR poised to declare results for four top posts

Last Updated on Monday, 1 July 2024, 22:21 by Writer

Delegates voting at the PNCR’s 22nd Biennial Delegates Congress, Congress Place, Sophia on June 23, 2024.

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) was late Sunday night expected to declare the results of its internal elections for at least four top posts including leader for which incumbent leader Aubrey Norton is expected to be declared winner, Congress Administrator Sherwyn Benjamin said.

PNCR member, Mervyn Williams said the last vote was cast at 8:38 p.m., marking the close of polls. He said Returning Officer, Vincent Alexander has committed to releasing preliminary results by midnight. The statements of poll, according to Mr Williams, would be provided to candidates for examination and certification within 24 hours. The party official related that there would be no recount. “The 24-hour window is made available so that all questions regarding the vote will be addressed by the candidates with the Returning Officer,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Benjamin said the winners of the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer could be declared Sunday night. However, the results for the 15 members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) are unlikely to be known before Monday afternoon because almost 110 persons’ names are on the ballot. “You have to count to ascertain who got the highest 15 so that is going to take some doing,” Mr Benjamin told Demerara Waves Online News.

The party official said Returning Officer, Vincent Alexander informed delegates that leader-nominees Roysdale Forde and Amanza Walton-Desir did not formally withdraw their nominations. He said Carl Greenidge and Volda Lawrence declined nominations for the post of leader. “One can safely conclude that Norton is practically unopposed,” the Congress Administrator said.

Up to about 7 p.m. Sunday, the last remaining 100 of the just under 2,000 delegates were voting at the five polling booths set up at Congress Place, Sophia. the PNCR’s headquarters.

Video and still pictures released by the PNCR on its Facebook page show long queues of electors. Mr Benjamin said, except for a few minor hiccups and occasional disorder, polling was smooth. “It was a peaceful process. There might have been a few kinks based on anxieties and so on because of the large number of persons… The general flow of things was disorderly,” he said.

Delegates queuing to vote at the PNCR’s 22nd Biennial Delegates Congress, Congress Place, Sophia on June 23, 2024.

PNCR member, Ganesh Mahipaul deemed Sunday’s internal party elections “the most democratic process that ever existed in the history of this country.” There were five polling ‘booths’ and several boxes for ballots for the various positions.

Mr Forde and Ms Walton-Desir last week issued separate statements, announcing the suspension of their participation in the elections because of alleged irregularities in the process. Mr Forde had said that several groups’ members had raised concerns but they were not addressed, causing his campaign team to write to the party headquarters before and after nominations day but without redress.

The Congress Administrator had said that Mr Forde and Ms Walton-Desir did not understand the process and those concerns should have been addressed at the group rather than at the central level.

In the run-up to the Congress, Ms Dawn Hastings-Williams resigned from the post of General Secretary, saying that the timeframe for congress was too short and, also based on membership queries, she could not guarantee a transparent PNCR internal elections.