Several possible resignations to rock PNC/R as Norton accused of single-handedly selecting Mayors, Deputy Mayors
A Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) on Wednesday night got heated and reportedly saw senior members of the political party threatening to resign over the selection of who will be Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair and Vice Chair of the NDCs and municipalities that the party won in the just concluded Local Government Elections.
The News Room was reliably informed by inside party sources that the Leader of the PNC/R, Aubrey Norton, has reportedly attempted to “single-handedly” select who he wants to take up the posts despite the strong objections of senior members who believe that it should be a collective decision.
The News Room understands that the CEC – the highest decision-making body of the PNC/R – met on Wednesday night to deal specifically with the selection process.
The source noted that Norton reportedly selected Kyle Solomon for the Mayorship of Georgetown but this was met with several objections led by Amanza Walton-Desir.
The News Room understands that when Walton-Desir asked what “objective criteria” was used to select the candidates, Norton claimed that he established an “interview committee” of two persons, including Elson Lowe. It should be noted that Lowe is not a member of the PNC/R.
According to the source, Walton-Desir brought to the CEC’s attention that Solomon reportedly shares a close relationship with another party member whose mother also sits on the CEC.
At this time, Carol Joseph and Walton-Desir got into a heated argument during which Joseph reportedly stormed out of the meeting.
Solomon won his Constituency #9 (Durban Backlands/Meadow Brook) at the LGEs but the News Room understands that other members prefer PNC/R Georgetown District Chairman, Troy Garraway, who won Constituency 12.
The source said that Garraway also expressed an interest in the Mayorship of Georgetown but he was reportedly dismissed by Norton.
Members argued at the meeting that Garraway has been a long-standing member of the Georgetown City Council and has done the groundwork.
Meanwhile, a similar issue is taking place in Linden where many members are in favour of Sharma Solomon being the Mayor; while Norton did not reportedly object to this, he is not in agreement with Vanessa Kissoon assuming the post of Deputy Mayor of Linden.
The source told the News Room that Norton prefers the return of the current Deputy Mayor, Wainwright Bethune.
As a result, the source said that Kissoon has since threatened to resign from the PNC/R if she does not get the post.
According to the source, there is a huge split within the PNC/R as support for Norton continues to dwindle and several high-raking party members have threatened to resign if Norton goes ahead with his route of single-handedly selecting the candidates.
The News Room on Thursday sought to engage members of the Opposition on the matter at their weekly press conference, however, before the question could be completed by the reporter, the host, Shaneika Haynes, interjected and said the question is not within the remit of the press statement.
The question was directed to Norton who was not part of the panel but his name was visible as one of the participants who joined virtually via Zoom.
But Haynes informed the News Room that Norton is not part of the press conference and reiterated that they will not accommodate the questions by the News Room.
Others who were at the press conference include the General Secretary of the PNC/R, Dawn Hastings-Williams, Geeta Chandan-Edmond and Coretta McDonald.