Mahipaul out, Amanza in race to become PNC/R leader

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Opposition Parliamentarian and Executive Member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Ganesh Mahipaul on Tuesday turned down possible nominations that would place him in the upcoming leadership contest for the party.

He declined nominations weeks after saying that he would give consideration to the possibility of running for leader and days after another party Executive and Parliamentarian, Amanza Walton-Desir indicated her interest in contesting for the top leadership position in the party.

“After much reflection and drawing upon my 15 years of invaluable experience within the PNCR, including my tenure in 2009 as Secretary to the A Field Sophia GYSM and my journey to the Central Executive Committee, I have come to the realization that I am not yet fully prepared to undertake the responsibilities of leading our party,” Mahipaul said in a statement.

As it stands now, Walton-Desir will go up against incumbent leader Aubrey Norton and Party Executive Roysdale Forde, SC, when the PNC/R holds its 22nd Biennial Delegates Congress from Friday, 28th June to Sunday, 30th June 2024.

Notwithstanding, Mahipaul said he remains eager to continue serving the PNC/R and will instead accept nominations for the Central Executive Committee, where he can contribute effectively to the party’s objectives while continuing to hone his skills and readiness for future leadership roles.

Last week, Walton-Desir, Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, was more upbeat about taking on the role.

“Absolutely, yes, I’m open. I’m available. I did give my word that as soon as the process is properly kick-started, that I would say and so, I am. I am. I am open,” a Stabroek News article quoted Walton-Desir as saying.

Back in March, Forde was the first to make the announcement of running for leader. He promises among other things to unite the party.

A single nomination can put each of them in the race but Norton is confident that he will keep his spot at the helm of the main opposition party.

Norton said in March that the party membership is politically intelligent and will not allow inexperience to lead them in direct response to Forde’s contest.

Forde said he has been close to the party since the 1990s and now serves at the highest collective level – the Central Executive Committee. He said too that he has the support of the membership from across the country.

Norton became leader following the 22nd Biennial Congress where he was challenged for the post by Joseph Harmon and Richard Van West Charles. Forde had openly supported Harmon at the time.

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