Apologetic Harmon intends to bring healing to “hemorrhaging” PNC/R

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By Kurt Campbell

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Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on Thursday night officially launched his campaign as he now goes up against other party stalwarts for the leadership of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) – the largest party in the opposition APNU+AFC Coalition.

Harmon, who started out his presentation with the song “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead, orated a message of unity, saying he intends to heal the hemorrhaging the party is experiencing.

“The party is hemorrhaging and we have to take stock and regroup. The first thing on the agenda must be the healing of the party.

“I am honoured to have been asked to step up to the plate and do what is necessary. I, Fredrick Joseph Harmon, do accept that challenge of being the leader of the PNC/R,” he told the gathering at Herdmanston Lodge in Georgetown.

Reflecting on the history of the party even as part of the APNU+AFC coalition which faced a massive defeat at the March 2020 general and regional elections, Harmon said the PNC/R has not lost its relevance.

In laying out a 10-point goal for delivery once he is elected leader, Harmon apologised to party members who have walked away because of grievances linked to the performance of leaders.

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon at the launch of his campaign to contest the leadership of the PNC/R (Photo: News Room/October 21, 2021)

“We are sorry. We made a mistake and we will correct it.

“If we harm you, if you felt aggrieved, it may not be real but we are going to apologise and bring you back home,” Harmon said.

As part of his efforts, Harmon noted his intention to reconnect with the rich heritage of the PNC/R; provide training and educational opportunities for members and develop inclusiveness.

“The PNC is not just a black people thing,” he said. Harmon also committed support for youth and women.

“It would be political suicide to ignore the youth and we are going to dedicate more resources to that,” he added.

Over the past several months, at least four members walked away from the PNC/R citing dictatorial leadership among other issues under the David Granger-led party. Some of those who resigned include attorney Thandi McAllister served for more than 25 years; Brian Smith, Lennox Gasper, Shawn Hopkinson and Basil Blackman.

Up to Thursday, only two other party members has announced their bid for the leadership post – Aubrey Norton and Dr. Richard Van West Charles.

But Harmon has committed to working with all.

“I want to commit as a candidate and to all the other comrades who vie for this position, I commit to working together for the unity of the party.

“Win, lose or draw the bigger picture is the party,” Harmon said. The Opposition Leader said the hallmark of his work will be teamwork.

Harmon has secured the endorsement of other senior party members including General Secretary Amna Ally and Opposition Parliamentarians Roysdale Forde, Nicolette Henry, Annette Ferguson, Coretta McDonald, Ganesh Mahipaul and Karen Cummings, among others.

There is still no word on whether the current Leader and former President David Granger will seek re-election.

Chairperson of the PNC/R and acting Party Leader Volda Lawrence has also not said whether she will contest the top post. Lawrence previously said she will await nominations.

Harmon had previously campaigned for the position of Chairman but lost to Lawrence.

The election of a new leader will be done during the 22nd Biennial Congress which has been set for December 11 with nominations of candidates set for November 11, 2021.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    The issue being……nobody has taken responsibility for the election rigging…..except Uncle Dom. Like it never happened.

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