Last updated on Sunday 22 August 2021, 21:50 by Denis Chabrol
An ad hoc committee of the National People’s Congress (PNCR) reform executive recommended that the long-awaited Congress be held in November in mixed form, in person and virtually, but apologies are already being made for delaying the holding. a meeting of the Central Executive Committee to discuss the report and move forward with the arrangements, sources said on Sunday.
The sources said the committee, amid COVID-19 restrictions, proposed that Congress be held in late November.
The sources said that the PNCR constitution allows for CEC meetings to be held with at least 10 people – five elected directly from the CEC and five from other branches of the party. However, according to the sources, although the report was submitted to the CEC, PNCR chief David Granger, President Volda Lawrence and General Secretary Amna Ally, no effort was made to convene a CEC meeting. .
Instead, the sources said, a flimsy apology such as parliamentarians on annual vacation and a number of them overseas was given for not calling a CEC meeting this week. last Wednesday since the report was submitted last week. Multiple sources have dismissed these grounds as valid reasons on the grounds that CEC meetings are already being held in mixed mode, virtually and in person. “Congress is the most important party issue at the moment, but the CEC has been postponed,” the source said.
With the rapid end of August, one of the sources said many CEC members would be detained before the end of the month. “There is no desire whatsoever in September because of the importance of Congress,” added another source.
A number of CEC members, who have called for Congress to be held this year, are concerned about delaying tactics for not responding quickly to the report.
PNCR sources said that voting for the positions of chief, president, vice-presidents and 15 members of the Central Executive Committee will take place at central venues in each administrative region where individual returning officers are located.
The sources explained that it is recommended that part of Congress be virtual for reports and discussions but that the vote be done virtually. “Not everyone will go to Congress, so it will be a decentralized Congress,” added a source.
Already, the ad hoc committee has concluded that a virtual or hybrid Congress would not constitute a violation of Guyana’s constitution. “The legal opinion indicated that the Constitution of the PNCR does not prohibit the business to be transacted at the congress, including the elections of the members of the bureau, to be thus dealt with by the delegates gathered in simultaneous meetings held in various places”, said the Committee.
Documents seen by News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM / Demerara Waves Online News indicate that there were 904 delegates to Congress 2018 held at Congress Place, but in light of COVID-19, the party is concerned that a face-to-face The congress in person could be a “super-propagator” of the virus. In total, the PNCR says its Congress attracts at least 2,000 delegates, observers, staff and special guests.
The PNCR is also said to have feared obtaining the approval of the COVID-19 working group to hold a congress at its party headquarters.
The congress should have been held in August 2020 but had been postponed due to the planning of the general election of March 2, 2020 and even further delayed due to the COVID-19 virus which has so far killed 594.
The announcement that Congress is recommended to be held in November comes amid concerns from a fairly large segment of the CEC that Mr. Granger is seen to be acting unilaterally. He has since dismissed these concerns, calling them a “media frenzy”.