Emotional Norton thanks Granger for service; makes Van West Charles Advisor


In tears, newly-elected leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Aubrey Norton was installed in his position on Monday and in his first statement, he thanked outgoing leader David Granger for his service and named his rival for the post, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles an Advisor.

The career politician said he intends to have conversations with Joseph Harmon, who was also contending for leader, but lost. Harmon is the current Opposition Leader and has already said he does not intend to give up the post.

Norton’s first address was one of gratitude for past and current leaders and those who helped his campaign. Harmon did not attend the ceremony physically, but Van West Charles was seen seated on the left of Norton.

Norton with 967 votes was installed during a simple ceremony at Congress Place on Monday. He led Harmon by 722 votes.

Meanwhile, Shurwayne Holder was installed as Chairman of the party, a relative newcomer who Norton has reposed full confidence in.

Aubrey Norton

The new leader and former General Secretary (GS) stopped short of naming a new GS with incumbent Amna Ally already saying she will step down from the post.

The party will now have to resolve the issue of a tie for the Vice-Chairman post. Christopher Jones and Vinceroy Jordan have both secured the second highest number of votes for this post, which is shared by two persons. Elisabeth Niles-Williams already copped the First Vice-Chairman spot.

Both Norton and outgoing Chairman Volda Lawrence thanked Chief Elections Officer Vincent Alexander for his work, saying it was a true demonstration of democracy at work.

Alexander himself has said that the process has seen the full acceptance of members with recommendations included in his final report to address glitches.

Alexander named 14 of the 15 elected members to the Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Monday, saying that the party had to resolve a tie for the 15th spot.

The CEC members are: Amanza Walton Desir, Annette Ferguson, Christopher Jones, Coretta McDonald, Dawn Hastings, Edward Collins, Ganesh Mahipaul, Gary Best, Geeta Chandon Edmond, Hazel Pile Lewis, Jermaine Figueira, Kirk Fraser, Reaz Roopnarine, Samuel Sandy and Troy Garraway.

In brief remarks, Lawrence urged the new leadership to “listen and respond to the voices of people.”

A former lecturer at the University of Guyana, Norton promised drastic changes even as he announced his intention to challenge the recent appointment of a Chief Elections Officer, demand a new voters list and challenge to changing the structure of the private sector representative bodies.

He said he intends to be an inclusive leader.

“I want to promise you that I will make this party a grassroots party, a party for all Guyanese, for all ethnic groups.

“I do not want to hear in our party that somebody was against Norton and that person was excluded…the elections are over and we should move forward,” he added.

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