PNC cancels critical meeting intended to finalise Mayors, Deputies
--Longstanding councillor says being forced out
A Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) intended for Wednesday was postponed without reason although it was expected to address the critical finalisation of who will take up the posts as Mayors and Deputy Mayors; Chairman and Vice Charmain among newly elected local government officials for the party.
This postponement came one week after another CEC meeting got heated and reportedly saw senior members of the political party threatening to resign over the selection of who will lead the councils for the areas the party won in the just concluded Local Government Elections.
PNC insiders told the News Room that the meeting was reportedly postponed by Party Chairman, Shurwayne Holder but members have complained that the postponement was only announced one day before the meeting and no reason was proffered; no date for a future meeting was given.
According to the source, CEC member and former Army Chief, Gary Best has expressed concern over the postponement of the meeting and reportedly said based on the developments “We are apparently entering murky waters.”
In a letter, seen by the News Room, and sent to the CEC, Best berated the party’s leadership for lack of accountability and transparency and complained that there were no minutes for meetings held in May, none for last Wednesday’s meeting and no financial statements since January 2021.
“We have a slew of festering and unfinished party matters, we have no update on repairing the party membership database and the CEC has been continuously bypassed by the officers of the party in decision making,” Best reportedly wrote in the email.
Best was keen to note, however, that the leader cannot, in keeping with the party’s constitution, proceed to conclude decisions related to the appointments of councillors and mayors without the intervention of the CEC.
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.
Best reminded in the email that the pause between the two meetings was “an opportunity to do the right thing.”
The CEC is the highest decision-making body of the PNC/R. 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 PPP/C picked up 11 seats on the Georgetown Council following the June 12 LGE; this is an increase from the seven picked up in 2018 while the PNC-led APNU Coalition picked up 19 seats, a decrease from 21.
A party insider told the News Room that Norton has expressed fears that the PPP will “buy out” some of the PNC councillors.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, longstanding PNC/R Councillor, Heston Bostwick took to his Facebook page to complain of being forced out of the party.
He was a PR candidate for the APNU at the local polls in Georgetown.
“I was reliably informed that efforts are being made to put me out of the People’s National Congress/Reform.
“When I confirm that and I make my choice I hope no one gets annoyed,” Bostwick said.
He said he has been a member of the PNC/R since 1979 and “persons within the party are now making serious efforts to have me out of the party.”