Date set for PNC/R Congress to elect leader – source

…long overdue congress to be held in December

A date has finally been set for the long-awaited People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) biennial congress, which will possibly see a new Central Executive Committee (CEC) and possibly even a new leader being elected.
PNC/R executive Volda Lawrence, whom many consider as a possible contender for the leadership of the party, was tightlipped when contacted, only saying that the party would issue a press statement when it was ready.
Party General Secretary Amna Ally also declined to share any information on when the congress would be held. However, on the condition of anonymity, this publication was able to confirm with a senior member of the party that a date has been set for the biennial congress.
While sources indicate that December 11 has been set for the holding of the congress and November 11 for the nomination of the candidates, this publication was unable to secure independent confirmation.

PNC/R Headquarters, Congress Place, Sophia

It was only recently, at the party’s 64th anniversary ceremony at Congress Place, that Lawrence made a poignant call for an end to the political confrontation she noted was a liability to the party.
“…it is clear that political confrontation will lead us nowhere. Our actions must be set towards unification. We want to proceed in a way that will enable everyone to benefit. At least this should be our goal,” Lawrence had said.
Lawrence, who formerly served as Public Health Minister, also spoke of the need for the PNCR to expand its reach as a political party. Additionally, she noted that the party needs to improve on its organization in order to better serve the country.
At that same ceremony, Party Leader former President David Granger, who is taking a leave from politics, had taken what appeared to be a jab at his rivals for the leadership position and spoken against factions within the party during a prerecorded message.
“Our founder Forbes Burnham, at the party’s first biennial delegates conference in 1975, warned of the menace of factionalism. I quote: ‘To be sponsoring and joining factions in the party is to indulge in anti-party activity, calculated to weaken the party. There may be different motivations, some springing from personal ambitions, others from minority positions primarily held. Whichever it may be, the result is undesirable and deleterious’,” Granger had said.
Amid internal party struggles, there has been mounting pressure for the party to host its Biennial Congress for new leadership to be elected. But the PNCR Leader has previously cited COVID-19 as the reason behind the delays.
PNC’s last biennial congress was in 2018, when Granger was returned unopposed as Leader of the party. The PNCR Central Executive Committee had agreed earlier in the year that the party’s 22nd biennial congress should be held by the end of November 2021, but not later than December 13, 2021.
Unlike in 2018, when he was returned as Leader uncontested, Granger now faces at least two challengers for the post of Leader. CEC member Dr Richard Van West-Charles threw his hat in the ring in June, making him and party stalwart Aubrey Norton the two executive members of the party who have indicated their interest in the top job. (G3)