PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana Saturday, 6 December 2008

The People’s National Congress Reform rejects the headline in today’s Guyana Chronicle of Saturday December 6, 2008, that there is a widened rift in the ranks of the Party. At its final General Council meeting for 2008 Party representatives from all 10 regions of the country re-affirmed their commitment to the Party. A resolution of solidarity and support was also passed.

The General Council had already approved at its last meeting of September 27, 2008, the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee which had been established after the last Biennial Congress. The Disciplinary Committee had reprimanded those persons who had been placed before it and had recommended that James Mc Allister either resign or be recalled from Parliament.

Among the reasons were that James Mc Allister had been absent from Parliament for the later part of 2007 and had failed to represent the Party at that forum. He eventually returned to Parliament on the last day of the consideration of the Budget Debate 2008 in February, without informing anyone. He was absent since that date without explanation and had failed to provide any explanation to the Leader or General Secretary of the PNCR. Information reaching the PNCR suggested that James Mc Allister was working in the USA, while receiving salary as a PNCR Member of Parliament. He was duly informed by registered mail, of the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee and was offered an opportunity to appeal the recommendations of that Body, but failed to do so.

The facts are that the Disciplinary Committee delayed the consideration of allegations against Mc Allister for several months, until he returned to the country and gave him every opportunity to be heard. He chose instead to send a rude letter to the Committee, instead of appearing before it. Unlike other members of the Party who faced the Disciplinary Committee, the charges leveled against Mc Allister included his lack of accountability for Party resources and assets that had been assigned to him since 2006, despite several letters sent to him by the General Secretary to do so. His removal from office as Chairman of Region 3 was in accordance with provisions of the Party constitution and determined by the Central Executive Committee which is the highest forum of the Party in the absence of General Council.

Neither the Party nor its Leader has received any information about the public withdrawal of Mr. Vincent Alexander as co-chairman on Local Government Reform. If the information is accurate, however, the Party would also expect that he would withdraw as its nominee on the Elections Commission.

The PNCR has always been a Party which permitted free and frank discussions at all of its forums. No member of the Party has ever been restricted from contesting any office. Mr. Alexander’s own record refutes such a claim. He contested offices within the Party on several occasions and challenged Mr. Corbin on three occasions for various offices. He lost on all occasions. This record is hardly reflective of a Party that does not permit dissent and differences of opinion.

The PNCR will at a subsequent date make full disclosure on these and other matters.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Saturday, 6 December 2008