Granger, Volda rail against dissenting groups; political confrontation as PNC/R congress nears

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By Kurt Campbell

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The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), the largest party in the APNU+AFC Coalition opposition, on Tuesday, observed its 64th anniversary with a simple ceremony at its Congress Place, Sophia headquarters, where the membership reflected on its achievements and failures.

Party Leader David Granger and Chairman Volda Lawrence both delivered remarks which addressed seeming division within the party. The statements which urged unity come amid preparations to host the party’s 21st Biennial Congress later this year.

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and former President of Guyana Brigadier (Ret’d) David Granger [Photo: PNC/R]
In a voice-recorded anniversary statement, Granger focused on factionalism within the party, something he said has proven to have menacing and undesirable results.

The Party Leader is currently on vacation.

Granger rejected small organised dissenting groups within the party and said factions are unwittingly or wittingly the instrument of enemies.

“Our founder leader was committed to knitting groups together, not splitting them apart. By building up and not breaking down, by multiplying not dividing and subtracting members, and to suppressing factionalism and opportunism,” Granger said.

Lawrence in her address also touched on the issue of division within the party. She said it was important for the party to reflect on both its achievements and failures and found the theme “learning from the past, conquering the future” to be a fitting one.

“Political confrontation will lead us nowhere… our actions must be set towards unification,” Lawrence told the gathering.

She said there must be a personal commitment by party members to have a more organized and mobilised party.

“Our voice must rise above those who want to create an illusion of what the PNC/R is,” she added.

PNC/R officials at the observances on Tuesday at Congress Place

Lawrence, who some speculate will contest for a top leadership post in the party,  told the News Room that there is no set date for nominations. She explained that while the party constitution and by-laws do not speak to a timeline, precedence has been set.

According to Lawrence, the congress will be held by the end of November 2021, but no later than December 13, 2021.

Already, Aubrey Norton and Dr. Richard Van West Charles have said they would be contesting for the post of leader. Former President David Granger is the current Party Leader.

But his leadership has come in for heavy criticism from party members following his defeat at the March 02, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

Granger has since taken a sabbatical from the party, citing that he needs his rest.

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