Businessman Shawn Hopkinson walks away from PNC/R; says leadership dictatorial
By Kurt Campbell
With several youth members walking away from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) in direct criticism of the leadership of former President David Granger, businessman Shawn Hopkinson has also done the same.
Hopkinson sat on the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the party for three years but said he began staying away from meetings because he felt his voice was not being heard.
According to the PNC/R’s Constitution, a CEC member who stays away from consecutive meetings will lose their elected status to the Committee.
Hopkinson, who is in the mining business, told the News Room that he missed all the meetings in recent months on purpose.
“I had no interest there anymore and think I was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Hopkinson, a resident of Bartica, said during a telephone interview on Friday.
The businessman explained that his departure from the PNC/R can be regarded as a withdrawal from politics altogether.
“I want absolutely nothing to do with politics, I am a businessman and I am sticking to what I know,” he noted.
Asked about his reason for the decision, Hopkinson said, “sitting there was like a rubber stamp, a waste of time.
“It was very dictatorial. The leader controls his people and they make their decision. There is no democracy there,” he said.
Hopkinson confirmed his exit from the party hours after Brian Smith also confirmed that he had parted ways with the party after serving for 15 years. Smith too criticised the party’s leadership and said he isn’t prepared to be burdened by the inheritance of older fights.
Smith said he had earnestly believed that being a member of the party would afford him the platform to advance the interest and agenda of young people but that never materialised. He criticised backward thinking and delayed advancement in several areas.
A week earlier, attorney Thandi McAllister also resigned from the party where she served for more than 25 years. She maintained that her upset is with the party’s current leadership where Granger sits at the helm.
“I believe the former President has served his time. Perhaps, he has served well when it was most needed but he provided a catalyst for change and I earnestly believe that change should have taken place for quite a while,” McAllister told the News Room during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Efforts by the News Room to reach Mr. Granger on Friday proved futile.
Granger’s leadership has come up against a bombardment of criticism before and after his defeat at the March 2020 elections after just five years in government.