“I bring a heart for the people of Guyana”- new PNC/R Chair
By Bibi Khatoon
“I do not bring gold or silver but what I bring is a heart for the people of Guyana.”
Those were the words of newly elected Chairperson of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Volda Lawrence as she delivered her victory speech in the wee hours of Monday at the party’s Headquarters at Congress Place, Sophia.
At the party’s 20th Biennial Delegates Congress, attended by more than 50% women, Lawrence was elected as the first female Chair of the party with 346 votes. After hours of counting votes, her competitors Joseph Harmon and Basil Williams received 287 and 183 votes, respectively.
“I pledge to walk the walk and to talk the talk to ensure that we remain in Government for the next five and next five and next five …years and I also pledge to work with our leader and leaders to ensure that we address the needs of our people and that we all work together in unity,” Lawrence, who also serves as Public Health Minister, said to the delegates who remained at Congress Place for the results at midnight on Sunday.
Lawrence also captured 244 votes for the post of First Vice Chair which she also contested.
Annette Ferguson, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, was elected as First Vice Chair of the Party with 260 votes, while Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion, was re-elected second Vice Chair of the Party with 242 votes.
Former Leader of the PNCR, Robert Corbin told reporters that he is “very confident and comfortable with women at the helm of our party.” Corbin was the leader of the party from 2003 to 2012.
Other contestants for the position of Vice Chair were Christopher Jones who received 226 votes, Aubrey Norton received 236 votes, Jermaine Figueira received 22 votes, Genevieve Allen received 11 votes, Cosbert Roberts received 16 votes and Thandi McAllister received 84 votes.
Eighty-two persons contested for positions on the fifteen-member Central Executive Committee of the PNCR. Those results will be announced later.
Meanwhile, Leader of the PNC/R and President of Guyana, David Granger in delivering the charge, described the election process as “smooth.”
He also welcomed female as his partners in leading the party over the next two years.
“I cannot overrule democracy, but I try to ensure that women are well represented…so, I am very satisfied now that I have a female Chair and a female Vice Chair,” he told those present.
President Granger called on Guyanese to continue to trust the administration as it leads the country into 2020 and beyond.
“I ask you the members of the public and the Congress to keep faith with us over the next two years and beyond and we will lead you to that promised land,” the PNC/R Leader said.
He said the party will soon be launching its Local Government Elections Campaign, which it is contesting on November 12 in partnership with the APNU.