David Granger will not attend PNCR’s upcoming Congress
…cites health issues, will be in Cuba
People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader and former President David Granger, who was expected to attend his party’s upcoming biennial congress and deliver the customary keynote address, will not be attending since he is seeking medical treatment in Cuba.
This was announced in a statement from the PNCR, which also revealed that Granger, who has for some time been on a hiatus from party business due to health reasons, travelled from Guyana on Tuesday, en route to Cuba where he will be attending to matters of his health.
According to the release from the party, Granger has also expressed his best wishes to the PNCR for a “successful Biennial Delegates’ Congress, a happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year”.
“The members of the Central Executive Committee and of our great Party take this opportunity to wish the Cde Leader and his family best wishes for the Christmas season, a prosperous New Year, and the blessings of God upon him and the health officials in the Republic of Cuba as they treat him. We shall all keep him in prayers,” the party also said in its statement.
While the statement did not specify what treatment Granger is seeking in Cuba, the former President was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that develops in a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body, back in November 2018.
Following his diagnosis, the then President had shuttled between Cuba, where he was seeking treatment at the Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirurgicas (Centre for Surgical Medical Research) CIMEQ, and Guyana. In October 2019, almost one year after being diagnosed with cancer, Granger was said to be in remission.
At that time, medical specialists had expressed complete satisfaction with the state of the President’s health. They had also explained that his ailment is now in remission. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer disappear, although cancer still may be in the body.
PNCR’s 21st biennial delegate congress is scheduled for December 18, 2021, over the course of one day. In Stage 1 of the congress, elections will be held for the leader, Chairman, Vice Chairpersons and Treasurer. In the second stage, there will be an election for the members of the Central Executive Committee.
This time around, Granger is out of the race, amid much internal pressure from within the party for him to step down after the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition was booted out of executive office after one term – which was also dramatically cut short when one of its own members supported a No-Confidence Motion brought by the then PPP/C Opposition.
Vying for leadership now are Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon and other party executives Aubrey Norton and Dr Richard Van West-Charles. Former Attorney General Basil Williams had initially accepted a nomination to run for the leadership of the party, but subsequently withdrew from the race.
Carl Greenidge, a long-standing member of the PNCR who once served as Finance Minister under former President Forbes Burnham and as Foreign Affairs Minister under Granger – who he previously challenged for the leadership of the party – was also nominated for leadership of the party.
Harmon’s candidacy is supported by several Members of Parliament and party members who attended his campaign launch that was streamed live on the PNCR Facebook page. These include Coretta McDonald, Roysdale Forde, Ganesh Mahipaul and Annette Ferguson.
Meanwhile, Dr Van West-Charles’s candidacy has been endorsed by several PNCR members, including prominent leaders in Linden, among whom are Sharma Solomon and former PNC parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoon.
Reports also indicate that Norton has the backing of current PNCR Chair Volda Lawrence, who is said to have turned down her nomination for the post of leader. (G3)