As divisions widen in PNCR: Rookie Chairman questions party stalwart Amna Ally’s loyalty

…as attempts in play to stave off challenge to Aubrey Norton’s leadership

As the race for the leadership of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) heats up, leaders in the party are pulling no punches against a stalwart with over 40 years in the party under her belt, to stave off challenges to current leader Aubrey Norton.

PNCR Chairman Shurwayne Holder

PNCR stalwart and former Social Cohesion Minister Amna Ally, who has been with the party for well over 40 years and last served as General Secretary before stepping down in 2021, did not mince words during a recent interview where she lambasted Norton.
According to Ally in other sections of the media, Norton was an “unfit leader” who was responsible for divisions in the party. She had gone on to throw her support behind Opposition Member of Parliament Roysdale Forde, SC, who recently publicly declared his intention to challenge Norton for the leadership at the next congress.
“What Mr Norton, the Opposition Leader, has to do is pull his socks up. Mr Norton must work with the Constitution, and he must seek to unify the party rather than splitting hairs and having people go their own way. He is not fit to be a leader,” Ally was quoted as saying.

PNCR stalwart Amna Ally

Her words did not go over well with current PNCR Chairman Shurwayne Holder, who was elected Chairman of the party back in 2021 at the 21st Biennial Congress. In a social media post, Holder, a first-time PNCR parliamentarian, blasted Ally and questioned her record in the party.
“Where was this former Minister and General Secretary for the last four years? How has she contributed to the development of the party and the fight against the PPP? She didn’t even have the decency to facilitate a handover process to the new General Secretary when the faction she created lost at the last congress.
“While I respect her right to endorse whomever she sees fit, I don’t believe Amna Ali has the moral authority to say who is unfit to lead the Party… my Gloves are off! I will say much more at the right time,” Holder further wrote.
It was previously announced that the PNCR Congress would be held before its August 31, 2024 deadline. In March, Forde launched his campaign to run for the leadership of PNCR – the leading party in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-majority Opposition – at the upcoming Biennial Delegates Congress where the party elects its Leader, Chairman, Vice Chairman and 15 members to sit on its Central Executive Committee (CEC).

Leader Aubrey Norton

While no date has been set as yet, Forde had expressed the belief that there was a short time between the Congress and the upcoming 2025 General and Regional Elections. As such, he had rolled out a “Regroup, Refocus and Rebuild” plan, which he believes will deliver electoral victory for the party.
At his campaign launch, Forde was surrounded by several top PNC members, including his colleague Opposition parliamentarians Annette Ferguson, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and Natasha Singh-Lewis. Also there to support Forde were former Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine and Region Four Chairman Daniel Seeram.
In addition to Forde, Norton could also be facing another PNCR Executive, Ganesh Mahipaul, who has also expressed interest in running for the party’s leadership post. Shortly after Forde’s announcement, Mahipaul, while sitting alongside Norton at the party’s weekly press conference on Thursday, told reporters that he believes he has what it takes to lead the PNCR. But he said that it would be up to the party’s membership to decide whether he would run.
In their quest to contest the leadership post at the upcoming Congress, Forde and Mahipaul would first have to be nominated by the party’s membership to challenge Norton for the PNCR leadership.
Only a year ago, Forde and Mahipaul were at the centre of a leaked phone conversation with Treasurer Faaiz Mursalin, who had expressed concerns about the PNCR leadership on a host of issues including him being instructed to sign several blank cheques.(G3)