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July 18,2021

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…CEC members to discuss consequences for “unilateral decision making”

At a recent meeting of the Georgetown District of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), a motion of No-Confidence was put against PNC/R Leader David Granger which received the support of members in attendance.

This information was confirmed by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) Executive Member, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles in an interview with this news entity. “Yes, and they called for a Congress,” he said. Asked whether everyone present was in agreement, he added: “I didn’t hear anyone differing with the position.”

On July 15, 2021, CEC Members released a statement noting their intention to elect “new leadership” of the PNC/R following their repeated challenges with Mr. Granger, in particular, and unilateral decisions that were made by him. The main contention highlighted was with the decision of the former President to accept the recently formed parties of former government ministers, Jaipaul Sharma and Tabitha Sarabo-Halley into the APNU. The new parties – Equal Rights and Justice Party (ERJP) and Guyana Nation Builders Movement (GNBM) – were formed back-to-back in June 2021.

The CEC Members stated that they know nothing about the parties. They said that though it was communicated to Mr. Granger and General Secretary, Amna Ally that they should halt further involvement of the PNC/R with the APNU until the status of that partnership was fully discussed and agreed upon, Mr. Granger went ahead and publicly advertised the PNC/R’s acceptance of the two parties.

Furthermore, at the celebration of APNU’s 10th Anniversary on the very day the CEC released its statement, the former President once again publicly noted his acceptance of the political parties and so did Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon. Questioned whether efforts have since been made by the two political parties to provide information about their formation and intentions, Van-West Charles responded in the negative.

Central Executive Committee (CEC) Executive Member, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles

“We know nothing about these parties. We don’t know what they stand for, we don’t know what they bring to the table, we don’t know anything about them. Wouldn’t you expect that a national political party would have a national launch? But there was no national launch. We don’t know who are the members of the executive of these parties. We don’t know whether they are region specific or whether they are national parties, we don’t know anything about them,” he said.

“These matters that we are talking about were put to the entire CEC and there was no objection with respect to putting a hold on the two parties, etcetera. These matters were put by the Chairman and there was no objection.” On June 24, 2021, the Village Voice News reached out to one of the former Ministers who announced their new party and was told that a formal interview which would allow for questions would take place the following week. This did not occur.

Van-West Charles said that the CEC, as it previously indicated, will be meeting with PNC/R Members across Guyana to discuss the state of the party. However, he updated that these meetings could commence as soon as this week moving at a steady pace to cover all grounds.

Questioned on the range of the CEC’s powers as it relates to consequences for disregarding agreements and whether these include options for sanctions or only the avenue of elections, Van-West Charles said: “Well, we’ll have to see. That’s why we’re going to the membership because the membership must be informed as to what is taking place and, remember, it’s the membership that elected us to the CEC, therefore, it is important for you to get back to the membership, inform them, and hear from them what they want to be done.” The CEC is the highest decision forum in the absence of Congress and General Council. The Congress Convening Sub-committee set up is working to hold Congress “before the end of the year”. The CEC had said in its July 15 statement that Congress has been long overdue and that such is needed at this time to “elect new leadership”.

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No-Confidence Motion brought against Granger by PNC members

Division continues within the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), with statement after statement either condemning or supporting party leader David Granger, culminating in a No-Confidence Motion being brought against the former President by the party’s Georgetown district.

According to information reaching this publication, the motion was put during a recent meeting of the Georgetown district of the party and it received the support of the members who were present.

Division within the party, simmering over the past few months, spiked last week when unidentified members of the PNCR Central Executive Committee (CEC) penned a missive denouncing Granger’s leadership style and his recent unilateral approval of two parties, which they called “shell parties” into the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

“The most recent disregard is the one-man decision by David Granger to go ahead and commit the PNCR to continue its involvement and accept two recently formed parties as part of the APNU. The actions of David Granger are without any doubt unconstitutional and an affront to the membership of our Party. He will not be allowed to reduce the PNCR into a One Man Show,” the statement from the CEC members said.

This is a reference to the Guyana Nation Builders Movement (GNBM), which was founded by former Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and the Equal Rights and Justice Party (ERJP), which was founded by former junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma. According to the CEC members, Granger was previously commanded by the committee to put PNCR’s involvement with APNU on hold until further notice.

“Notwithstanding the Party’s decision, Granger went ahead and publicly advertised that the PNCR has accepted these two shell parties as part of the APNU… we are now witnessing this latest disregard of the Party’s decision, compounded by Granger affixing the symbols of these two non-approved parties onto a programme purported to be that of the APNU for its 10th Anniversary Celebrations. That is a one man show which the Party will not allow Granger to get away with,” the Committee said.

Days after this statement was released, several PNCR CEC members released a joint statement in which they lambasted these anonymous CEC members as “cowards.” But despite the CEC being a 15-member Committee, only four members – Ganesh Mahipaul, Annette Ferguson, Jennifer Ferreira-Dougal and Shurwayne Holder – affixed their names to this statement in support of their leader.

This follows protests outside Congress Place earlier this year, by members of Granger’s own party. The protesters demanded that he hold the congress so that the party can choose a leader. One placard, aimed at Granger and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, had read “David and Joe, stop denying democracy in the PNC. Time for congress”.

PNC’s last biennial congress was in 2018, where Granger was returned unopposed as leader of the party. This time around, Granger has cited the COVID-19 pandemic for the delay in holding the congress.

He had said that the party is trying to work out the logistics of holding the congress, while at the same time ensuring social distancing. However, many other organisations have held virtual meetings using Zoom, which allows hundreds of participants.

Granger, who left office in August 2020, after a five-month battle in Guyana for democracy to prevail, has been facing pressure from within the party and has suffered a sharp drop in popularity, over the loss of the 2020 General and Regional Elections after just one term in office.

These divisions were exacerbated by the list of parliamentarians he picked to send to the 12th Parliament, after party stalwarts like Chairperson Volda Lawrence were excluded and the WPA was not consulted to name their candidate. WPA subsequently withdrew from the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, on the heels of the Justice For All Party (JFAP).

Granger has also been denounced by individual members of the party, like one-time PNC parliamentarian James Bond. Bond has, in fact, labelled Granger’s leadership as “ineffective” and “mediocre”.

Granger has also been criticised by the PNCR diaspora group, who added their voices to calls for the former President to step down from leading the party. In a letter signed by Connie McGuire, Michael Bramford, George E, Lewis and the PNCR New York Diaspora group, they appealed to all PNC Executives, members and supporters to demand the resignations of Granger and other party leaders.

Unlike in 2018 when he was returned as leader uncontested, Granger now faces at least two challengers for the post of leader. CEC member Richard Van West-Charles recently threw his hat in the ring, joining party stalwart Aubrey Norton as two executive members of the party who have indicated their interest in the top job.

Reports have meanwhile indicated that the PNCR is looking to hold its congress in October 2021, but with a much-trimmed list of attendees.

“I don’t discount there might be opposition against me” – Granger on NCMs

– calls motions against him “phantom”

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) David Granger on Friday acknowledged that there might be some opposition towards him, but in the same breath, claimed that he is unaware of any No-Confidence Motion (NCM) brought against him.

https://guyanatimesgy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Granger-1-1.jpg

PNCR Leader David Granger

During a PNC-organised programme called “The Public Interest”, the former President expressed “right now, I don’t discount the fact that there might be some opposition to me”.

However, he said contrary to media reports, he is unaware that several groups from within the party have filed NCMs against him.

“The motions are difficult to define because, as far as I’m concerned as party leader and as far as the Central Executive Committee is concerned, we’ve never seen the texts of the motions, we’ve never heard of any official meeting of any part of the party…,” he explained.

“These are phantom motions. No texts, no votes, no notice, no defence…it’s difficult to understand who’s behind these press releases,” the PNC leader added.

Media reports indicate that the members of the PNC Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Thursday met and deliberated on two NCMs against Granger. But Granger is insisting that this is not true.

“These…meetings which seemed to have been held certainly were not sanction by the Central Executive Committee of the party. We don’t know who was invited, we don’t know what the motions were, who moved and seconded the motion, how many votes were taken…how many votes were against,” Granger pointed out.

He noted too that “even in common law, if an accusation is made about some misconduct, at least the person is told what the accusation is about, but I’m not aware there is any wrongdoing and I have never seen any motion.”

“Certainly, if directed against me, at least I’m entitled to know what misconduct I’m being accused of,” the PNC leader posited.

“I can’t figure out what the game is … and people need to suppress this type of activity that is taking place. I don’t know if anyone would claim responsibility for convening these so-called meetings and bringing these motions but as I said, it has never been brought to the attention of the Central Executive Committee,” he contended.

Moreover, Granger pointed out that the party leader is elected by Congress and not the Central Executive Committee and therefore, he urged persons to wait until Congress is held to select the new leadership of the PNC.

Noting that he is yet to decide on whether he will run again, Granger said “other persons have announced their intention to run, we’re a democratic party and if they feel they can run, let them run.”

He noted too that “there is a legal framework, Congress will be held and persons who are interested in competing for the leadership of the party are free to compete…”

“So let us keep it clean, let us keep it constitutional,” Granger affirmed.

Division within the party, simmering over the past few months, spiked last week when unidentified members of the PNCR CEC penned a missive denouncing Granger’s leadership style and his recent unilateral approval of two new parties into the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

The partnership last month announced that its Executive Council accepted applications from the Guyana Nation Builders Movement (GNBM), which was founded by former Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and the Equal Rights and Justice Party (ERJP), which was founded by former junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma, to join APNU.

But the PNCR CEC members called the two parties “shell parties”, stating that Granger will not be allowed to run a “one-man” show.

Days after this statement was released, several PNCR CEC members released a joint statement in which they lambasted these anonymous CEC members as “cowards.” But despite the CEC being a 15-member Committee, only four members – Ganesh Mahipaul, Annette Ferguson, Jennifer Ferreira-Dougal and Shurwayne Holder – affixed their names to this statement in support of their leader.

This follows protests outside Congress Place earlier this year, by members of Granger’s own party. The protesters demanded that he hold the Congress so that the party can choose a leader.

The PNC’s last biennial Congress was in 2018, where Granger was returned unopposed as leader of the party. Congress was due in 2020 but Granger continues to cite the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for the delay in holding Congress. He said during Friday’s programme that plans were actively being made for a ‘virtual’ Congress to be held.

Granger, who left office in August 2020, after a five-month battle in Guyana for democracy to prevail, has been facing pressure from within the party and has suffered a sharp drop in popularity, over the loss of the 2020 General and Regional Elections after just one term in office.

These divisions were exacerbated by the list of parliamentarians he picked to send to the 12th Parliament, after party stalwarts like Chairperson Volda Lawrence were excluded and the Working People’s Alliance was not consulted to name their candidate. WPA subsequently withdrew from the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, on the heels of the Justice For All Party’s (JFAP) resignation.

Granger has also been denounced by individual members of the party, like one-time PNC parliamentarian James Bond. Bond has, in fact, labelled Granger’s leadership as “ineffective” and “mediocre”.

Granger has also been criticised by the PNCR diaspora group, who added their voices to calls for the former President to step down from leading the party. In a letter signed by Connie McGuire, Michael Bramford, George E Lewis and the PNCR New York Diaspora group, they appealed to all PNC Executives, members and supporters to demand the resignations of Granger and other party leaders.

Unlike in 2018 when he was returned as leader uncontested, Granger now faces at least two challengers for the post of leader. CEC member Richard Van-West Charles recently threw his hat in the ring, joining party stalwart Aubrey Norton as two executive members of the party who have indicated their interest in the top job.

“I don’t discount there might be opposition against me” – Granger on NCMs

– calls motions against him “phantom”

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) David Granger on Friday acknowledged that there might be some opposition towards him, but in the same breath, claimed that he is unaware of any No-Confidence Motion (NCM) brought against him.

https://guyanatimesgy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Granger-1-1.jpg

PNCR Leader David Granger


Unlike in 2018 when he was returned as leader uncontested, Granger now faces at least two challengers for the post of leader. CEC member Richard Van-West Charles recently threw his hat in the ring, joining party stalwart Aubrey Norton as two executive members of the party who have indicated their interest in the top job.

Richard Van-West Charles ...

Forbes Burnham's son-in-law.

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