Fmr G/t Mayor questions whether Indo-Guyanese are truly accepted by PNC, after attack on Ally

– calls for better leadership ahead of August congress

PNC Leader Aubrey Norton

Former Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine, has called out the present Chairman of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Shurwayne Holder, for his unwarranted attack on former General Secretary of that party, Amna Ali, and is questioning whether Indo-Guyanese are truly accepted by its leaders.
In a missive posted on his social media platform, Narine a financial member of the PNC, believes that for the party to truly represent the aspirations of its constituents, it must provide a space wherein individuals from all backgrounds feel valued and included.
He has said that rather than stifling voices of dissent, the PNC must embrace its diverse membership base while taking into consideration Guyana’s multi-ethnic composition.

Former Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine

“The PNC’s leadership should recognize that fair criticism and the pursuit of excellence are not synonymous with disloyalty. They are crucial to maintaining a thriving democratic culture within the party. By silencing dissenting voices, the PNC risks losing talented individuals, stifling internal growth, and alienating potential supporters,” Narine related.
He added that the PNC under Forbes Burnham, Desmond Hoyte, Robert Corbin and David Granger had recognized Ally’s loyalty, value, expertise and skills, and had placed enormous responsibilities on her shoulders.
“As a concerned member of the PNC, one is left pondering the consequences of challenging the party’s leadership. Will any member who dares to step forward be labelled as a supporter of the rival party, the PPP? Furthermore, does the PNC truly welcome individuals of Indian descent, like myself, under its current leadership?”

Former PNC GS, Amna Ally

Further, the former mayor related that the accusation against Ally, who has served the PNC diligently for over 50 years, presents a puzzling scenario.
“How can someone with such a longstanding commitment to the party suddenly be deemed a supporter of the PPP? It seems that the chairman, Mr. Shurwayne Holder, may lack a comprehensive understanding of the party’s history, particularly that of our esteemed founder-leader Forbes Burnham, and the PNC itself,” Narine has said.
The PNC, he noted, was built upon the principles of inclusion, unity, and embracing diversity. “Forbes Burnham, a visionary leader, had a clear vision of a society where all ethnicities coexist harmoniously, working towards the betterment of Guyana. It is this vision that attracted supporters from all walks of life, including Indians, who have remained an integral part of the party’s fabric.

Chairman of the PNC, Shurwayne Holder

To label any individual who seeks to challenge the party leadership as a supporter of the PPP is not only unfair, but goes against the very principles upon which the PNC was founded. Internal dissent and competition for leadership positions are healthy for political parties, as they foster creativity, growth, and a continuous examination of policies and strategies.”
Narine feels the time has come for the PNC leadership to reflect upon the principles that define the party’s existence, even if it means re-evaluating their stance on individuals who dare to challenge the status quo and understanding that the party’s strength lies in its ability to adapt, grow, and embrace the multitude of perspectives within its midst.
“Congress has been overdue since December. That is four months and counting. Other aspects of the constitution, like monthly meetings and quarterly councils, have also been violated. Instead of attacking Amna, why not demand that the principles and articles of the Constitution of the PNC be upheld? Why not direct attacks on government corruption, instead of attacking Amna?” Narine has asked.
Narine is calling on the PNC congress to address the concerns raised by loyal members, who feel marginalized due to their Indian heritage or desire to challenge the party’s leadership. He reiterated that the PNC must endeavour to create an inclusive environment where dissent is encouraged, diverse voices are heard, and the spirit of Forbes Burnham’s vision is upheld.
“Only then can the party truly serve as a platform for progress, and represent the aspirations of all Guyanese citizens,” Narine has said.
Ally came under attack after allegedly referring to the present leader of the PNC, Aubrey Norton, as an “unfit leader”, who was responsible for divisions in the party.
She has now thrown 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.
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 has been announced that the PNCR congress would be held before August 31, 2024.
In March, Forde launched his campaign to run for the leadership of the 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).