“I don’t think I lost” – Basil Williams eyes another top post in PNC/R
By Bibi Khatoon
Visibly disappointed at being voted out as the Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), party member and Attorney General, Basil Williams did not immediately accept defeat and instead told reporters inside Congress Place just after midnight on Sunday: “I don’t think I lost, I could’ve stepped aside.”
But the Party stalwart has his eyes set on another top position within the PNC/R – a position he prefers not to reveal to the media at this time – and when asked if he plans to be the next leader, Williams laughed and said: “Why not?”
“I am one of the better-trained persons in the PNC, three terms as Vice-chair, two terms as Chairman. What’s next?” Williams said as he disclosed that he will not be competing for the position of Chair in future internal elections.
Leader of the Party and President of Guyana, David Granger was not challenged at this year’s congress and returned as Leader unopposed.
From a total of 829 ballots that were cast, Williams received only 183 votes – a far throw behind his opponents – Joseph Harmon who came in second with 287 votes and Volda Lawrence who won with 346 votes.
Williams previously served two terms as Chairman and prior to Sunday’s Congress, was confident that he would have retained the Chairmanship. He had boasted about his track record within the PNC/R and even made a last-minute campaign pitch at the opening of the Congress on Friday last as he urged the over 1,000 delegates not to experiment with a new leadership.
However, after Minister Lawrence was announced as the PNC/R’s first female chair, Williams was quick to point out that he did not engage in a public campaign like his opponents leading up to the elections.
“One of the features about this is that I never campaigned and we…never used to campaign publicly for an internal elections so it means now that this is going to be the thing of the future that we can campaign publicly and all that, and that is going to be fun,” Williams told reporters.
Nevertheless, the Attorney General said he still managed to garner a number of votes without campaigning as he boasted again of his many achievements.
The Minister of Legal Affairs admitted that he could have withdrawn from the race, but still believed that: “I had a purpose to stay in it,” hinting that if he did not, his votes would have gone to Harmon.