The first General Council meeting of the People’s National Congress Reform, for the year 2009, was held on Saturday 28th March at the Party's Sophia Headquarters, under the chairmanship of Mr. Basil Williams, M.P. and Vice-Chairman of the Party. Representatives from all of the Regions, North America and the United Kingdom were present.

After the Vice-Chairman’s opening and welcoming remarks, the General Secretary, Mr. Oscar Clarke, presented his report on the activities of the Party since the last General Council. He noted that the Party was operating in a difficult environment. The PPP had mismanaged the economy and has failed to take prudent measures to prevent the collapse of CLICO and ensure the long term viability of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). The primary factor of current economic circumstances in Guyana is high unemployment and the rising cost of living. Rise in crime and narco-trafficking compounded this situation. The General Secretary then gave a detailed description of the activities of the Party and its various arms in the regions and indicated where this has led to its strengthening and where there is need for improvement.

The main address was delivered by the Leader of the PNCR, Mr. Robert H. O. Corbin. Mr. Corbin again made the case for the unity of the Party and pointed out that, constructive ideas and thoughts can be powerful factors in pushing the Party forward. He was confident that a unified and restructured PNCR was quite capable of taking back the reigns of Government. In this context he referred to the importance of the recently held Strategic Leadership Retreat which constituted a road map for the better management restructuring and strengthening of the Party. The Party Leader, as in the case of the General Secretary, singled out the difficult situation the nation finds itself in politically and economically and indicated how the Party must confront these challenges in order to contribute to the national development of the country.

After the Party Leader’s address, some members of the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) entertained participants of General Council with two cultural items in the form of dances.

The final presentation of the morning session was made by Dr. Aubrey Armstrong on the Strategic Leadership Retreat. He gave the background to it and outlined the vision and the objectives to be attained as a result of its deliberations. Addressing the issues of quality of leadership required, the responsibilities of each leader of the Party at different levels, Dr. Armstrong made a strong case for a highly motivated and organized PNCR which could reassert itself and become the leading force in Guyana’s political life. He made particular reference to the contributions of previous leaders and the achievements of the Party over the years which could serve as a platform for its rebuilding and strengthening. The taking of prudent business measures would ensure that the Party adequately financed its activities.

The afternoon session constituted a lively forum in which the General Secretary’s report, the address by the Leader of the Party and the presentation by Dr. Armstrong were vigourously debated and analysed. The General Council adopted the proposal from the Secretariat on the 16th Biennial Congress programme as well as directed that some matters be referred to the Central Executive Committee for further examination and decision, after which the Vice-Chairman of the Party, Mr. Basil Williams, M.P., brought the curtains down with the Summation and Charge.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Saturday, March 28, 2009