PNC/R’s 19th Biennial Delegates Congress gets underway
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) this evening commenced its 19th Biennial Delegates Congress “PNCR-Vanguard of a Green Economy.” This year’s congress is seen as most important since the decisions that will be made over the weekend does not only affect the party and its supporters but the country as a whole.
The party turns 59 this year as it was founded on 5th October 1957.
During his address at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Party, Basil Williams highlighted that this is the first in 23 years that the leader of the party is the President of the Co-opertaive Republic of Guyana while the Prime Minister is from another party.
He called on the comrades present at the meeting to work to give “the good life” promised to all Guyanese through the provision of jobs, education and skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the right to happiness peace and security.
The increased membership and ‘Congress Houses” throughout the regions are but just some of the manifestations that these exhortations of the Leader are taken seriously.
Leader of the Party and President of Guyana, David Granger during his spoke about the founder of the party Mr. Linden Sampson Forbes Burnham, whose ideas he said are “still relevant today.” He highlighted the former Leader’s stance against injustices.
“The PNCR’s ideology is inspired, largely, by the ideas of Forbes Burnham, its Founder-Leader. His ideas grew out of historical experience and social action. He employed these ideas as instruments to transform society” the leader said.
He added that “First was egalitarianism, derived from his belief that all persons should be treated equally and should have equal opportunities for self-improvement. Second was his nationalism, expressed as his total commitment to Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and his resentment of foreign domination.”
He alluded to the issue involving Red House which the party proposed should house information on all of the past Presidents noting that certain initiatives including the Burnham Education Scholarship Trust and the Burnham Book Trust continues to function separately and this will continue until the current government can reclaim Red House. The Red House is currently known as the Cheddi Jagan Reading and Research Centre.
Burnham died on August 6, 1985. He served as the Prime Minister from 1964 to 1980 and as President from 1980 to 1985.
The President told the gathering that this year, being the country’s 50th Independence anniversary, it is best opportunity to renew its commitment to the country, noting that the party struggled relentlessly for Independence.
“The PNCR, today, is in another coalition. It is our task, collectively for the next fifty years, to complete our historic mission to provide ‘a good life’ for all.’ We must act resolutely to make the changes that are essential to building a resilient economy — one that is adaptive to the changes and responsive to the challenges of the global economy” the President urged.
The PNCR leader reaffirms its commitment to membership of the APNU Partnership.
Speaking of the past 23 years which he deemed as a legacy of mismanagement, Granger called on comrades to work together to “repair badly constructed buildings; to repay huge unsettled debts; to eliminate armed robberies, contraband smuggling, money-laundering, narcotics-trafficking and other crimes; to stanch the dropout rates and unemployment of our youths; to solve the problems in the sugar industry, which we inherited and to rekindle a spirit of nationalism.”
Also present at the congress was Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan and members of the party including Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo.
It is during this event that the party’s leadership will lay out plans for the next two years and delegates will vote for the leaders from the lists of nominees.