“I am saying what others are afraid to say!” – Amna Ally on PNCR leadership

The war of words continues between People’s National Congress (PNC) stalwart Amna Ally and current Chairman Shurwayne Holder, with Ally calling out Holder for his attacks on her and her right to criticise party leader Aubrey Norton ahead of the party’s elections.
Referring to Holder’s allegations against her as garbage, former PNC General Secretary Ally came out swinging in a statement on Monday. According to Ally, who first attracted the ire of the Chairman for calling Norton an unfit leader, she is merely saying what many in the party are too afraid to say.

PNC stalwart Amna Ally

“I am confident party members and supporters are too wise to be misled. I feel pity for my young comrade and am personally ashamed that he has allowed himself to be a conveyor of misinformation and disinformation desperately hoping that I will or can be silenced; that Party members would readily believe him and not me. Himself and whoever he serves can sit and wait… I am speaking aloud what many are silently saying, and others fear to say,” Ally wrote.
Ally re-emphasised her points of contention with Norton. These include accusing Norton of being an undemocratic leader who undermines the party structure and weakens the party’s Central Executive Committee.
“Aubrey Norton’s style of leadership is undemocratic. He has demonstrated a lack of accountability in the Party by undermining and destroying various party structures and practices by which he can be held accountable effectively placing himself as an autocratic leader with a CEC rendered ineffective and impotent,” Ally further said.
“Comrades, my party, the People’s National Congress, which I grew up in and have served over 53 years, from the age of 14, has always been a party of principles, a party with respect for its constitution and one where every member was valued and had the privilege of financial accountability. We must ask Aubrey Norton what entitles him to run the PNCR like his personal pig farm or cake shop. I have served every leader of the PNCR and our members as well as supporters faithfully.”

PNC Chairman Shurwayne Holder

In making it clear that she cannot be silenced, Ally noted that she cannot sit and quietly watch Norton “weaken and destroy” the PNC/R party. She further made it clear that she cannot support his leadership and would thus not be making any contributions until the party changes leadership.
“I am not going to lift a finger under Aubrey Norton’s leadership. When he is changed as leader, I will look and see what contribution, if any, I can make. But as of now, I want nothing to do with Norton and his quality of leadership,” the seasoned politician further contended.
But in a video recording over the weekend, Holder had accused Ally of refusing to accept Norton’s mandate from the party to lead, even though Norton was elected party leader over two years ago. He had read and directly criticized quotes of Ally saying she would not lift a finger to help Norton, given his leadership style, until party elections are held and a new leader elected.
“Comrade Ally’s remarks imply a refusal to accept the decisions of the party membership, as a long-standing member of the party, comrade Ally is signaling to members that it is ok to not accept the results of our elections, should they lose. For any party to be viable, it is essential that all are prepared to accept the decisions made by the majority, even should they lose,” Holder said.

PNC leader Aubrey Norton

“By openly declaring her unwillingness to support the party under comrade Norton’s leadership, comrade Ally sets a dangerous precedent that suggests losing candidates can simply opt out, rather than engaging constructively in internal discussions and decision-making processes. Comrade Ally’s attitude suggests that it is acceptable for members to withdraw from the party if their preferred candidate does not win.”
Ally is not the only one who has of recent been highly critical of Norton.
Only last week, former Georgetown Mayor and PNC member Ubraj Narine had posited 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 had 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. Narine went on to call 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.
It has been announced that the long-awaited PNC/R congress will be held before August 31, 2024. Current PNC/R Member of Parliament and Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde, has already declared his intention to challenge Norton for the leadership. Ally is backing Forde’s candidacy. (G3)