Amna Ally absent as PNC/R opens Congress with talks of new generational leadership

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The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Saturday morning opened its Congress with a lone address from its acting Leader and Chairman Volda Lawrence.

The media was not allowed to physically cover the congress; the party has promised to provide updates online every two hours. This is the first time that the media is not allowed at Congress Place.

In a few hours, voting will begin in an election that is seen as the sole purpose of the 21st Biennial Congress, to elect new leadership.

In her address, lived streamed on Facebook from the party’s headquarters – Congress Place, Lawrence talked up the passing of the baton to what she said would be the next generation of renewed and new leadership.

Particularly absent from the opening was the Party’s General Secretary Amna Ally. Incumbent Leader David Granger had indicated since earlier this week that he would be absent as he tends to his health in Cuba. Granger should have also had a pre-recorded leader’s address broadcast but this was not done.

When contacted by the News Room, Ally said that her address was prerecorded and just as indicated, should have been broadcast during the opening session.

She could not immediately provide a reason for why that was not done.

Ally has been increasingly isolated from the entire process with Chief Elections Officer Vincent Alexander confirming Thursday last that she will have no role as GS in these elections.

In previous years, the General Secretary, seen as a neutral person, played an active role in the congress and elections.

Ally has been particularly singled out by one of the hopefuls for leader as a threat to the free, fair, and free from fair congress and elections promised by Alexander.   The News Room was subsequently informed the report from the General Secretary would be broadcast privately to the membership.

Some 3,000 delegates from across Guyana and North American will commence voting from 11:00hrs 19:00hrs. It will be done in a hybrid and decentralized manner with 13 polling stations; four in region Four and one in each of the other nine Administrative Regions.

There is to be an update at 13:00hrs today and another every two hours until the close of the poll.

Alexander has already said that the preliminary results should be available by Sunday morning.

The Congress is being held under the theme: “Learning from the past, conquering the futures.”

But Party Executive Carl Greenidge has cast doubt on the Congress and even challenged the theme, saying no assessment was done of the past failures as the party looks to change guard and move forward.

In the welcome address, Lawrence stayed away from any criticisms of internal party dynamics and instead spoke of the party’s “glorious history.”

“Dialogue, discussions, debates and differences are healthy for any political party,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence herself has not sought election to any leadership roles. Those contesting from party leader is Joseph Harmon, Aubrey Norton and Dr Richard Van-West Charles.

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