PRESS RELEASE By People’s National Congress Reform The First General Council Meeting for the Year 2008 Auditorium, Congress Place, Saturday 19 January 2008

The first General Council meeting of the PNCR, for the year 2008, was held on Saturday 19 January at the Party's Sophia Headquarters, under the chairmanship of Mr. Winston Murray, CCH, MP.

The General Council is the second highest deliberative and decision-making forum of the Party, after the Congress, and is constitutionally due to be held quarterly each year.

Representatives from eight of the ten Regions were in attendance .Representatives from Regions # 8&9 could not attend, due to financial constraints.

The Agenda for the meeting included the Welcome and Opening Remarks by the Party Leader; the Report of the General Secretary on the activities of the Party, since the last General Council meeting ;presentations on Party Organisation; an update on the House to House Registration; Education and Training in the Party; and Financing the Party. These presentations were subjected to a Panel Discussion, in plenary, during which members of Council discussed the issues presented and made recommendations.

In his Welcome and Opening Remarks, the Party Leader said that he hoped everyone had a satisfying holiday season, despite the adverse economic and social circumstances in the country, and that all present were now ready for the many challenging tasks which lie ahead. He identified and highlighted the issues of Governance, the cost of living, House-to-House Registration and the Party Organisation as major preoccupations for the membership, during the ensuing period.

The General Council also constituted itself into three Workshops, each of which considered draft proposals on an issue referred to Council by the Central Executive Committee on: (a) The Ideology of the Party; (b) A Code of Conduct for Party members; and (c) A Pledge of Membership for all Full Members of the Party.

Unfinished business, from the 15th Biennial Congress, was also dealt with and concluded, before the Party Leader brought the curtains down with the Summation and Charge.

On the basis of the various presentations and the discussions which eventuated, the following decisions were taken:

1) With respect to House-to-House Registration, the PNCR will: (a) intensify its field work to ensure that every eligible Guyanese is registered, before the conclusion of the exercise; (b) work closely with GECOM to ensure that difficulties, encountered during the process, are satisfactorily resolved; (c) continue to advocate that this process of registration culminates with the issuance, to each registered person, a New National Identification Card.

2) That the workshop reports be considered by the Central Executive Committee, before the finalisation of the draft documents.

3) On Party Organisation it was agreed that: (a) The outstanding Regional Conferences be held as soon as possible; (b) That sub-Divisional Conferences should be scheduled and held before the end of July 2008;.(c) That priority be given, by every Party Organ, to the implementation of the Draft Education and Training programme of the Party;.(d) To intensify efforts to encourage Party Groups to meet their financial obligations to the Party.

4) On the question of the cost of living, the Party will: (a) Continue to demand a reduction of the 16% VAT; (b) Renew its call for wages and salaries increases to Public Servants and other state employees.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday 24 January 2008