The first General Council meeting of the People’s National Congress Reform for the Year 2011 concluded on Saturday 21st May, at the Party’s Headquarters, Congress Place, Sophia, with participants from all ten Regions.

The General Council, which is the highest forum of the Party after Congress, was chaired by Party Chairman, Mr. Bishwaishwar “Cammie” Ramsaroop, who in his opening remarks, delivered a dynamic and motivational speech which highlighted the challenges for the Party at the forthcoming elections. He reminded General Council that the absence of the Jagans and the consequences of their recent Presidential exercise made the PPP a weaker party. He also spoke of that party’s desperation, as the elections are drawing nearer, leading them to resort to all kinds of propaganda, intimidation, there will be incidents of fear and control of the media will intensify.

Mr. Ramsaroop urged Party members and supporters to ensure that everyone is registered and, thereby, be able to vote on Election Day. “We can only win if we get an overwhelming turn out; we must move on as a united Party since unity in our Party is a must. Egos must be submerged and we must devote all our energies to the realization of the objectives.”

The Party Leader, Mr. Robert H. O. Corbin, M.P., in his address to General Council, said that rain or shine the campaign and the work of the Party must go on. The rain must not stop anyone from getting registered during the Claims and Objections period. This, he said, is the last opportunity for us to get people registered.

He explained that in 2002 we realized that the time had come to address the issue of shared governance. In 2004, the Congress theme was “Building a Platform for Peace, National Cohesion and Reconstruction” and in that address, the Party emphasized the need for national cohesion and reconciliation. He said that if Guyana was to go forward in harmony we have to develop a model which will see enhanced co-operation among the political forces that guide the destiny of our land.

Mr. Corbin stressed that it is our goal to begin with a Government of national unity; we must demonstrate from the way we approach the elections that we are prepared to practice what we preach. Our Party is strong and resilient and we cannot be worried that we will lose our identity. We are confident that Mr. David Granger is competent and capable of giving leadership in such a Government.

Our membership, he said, must appreciate that our goal as a Party is to create a better Guyana to live in peace and harmony and share in the fruits of our culture and our economy. We must move to create an electoral alliance because the deep seated problems here require us to work together for national development.

The Party’s Presidential Candidate, Mr. David Granger, in his report to General Council on the process of the Joint Opposition Political Parties (JOPP) said that the Party has championed the cause for shared governance and since we have been toiling in the vineyards of inclusivity it time for us to reap the harvest. He iterated that the PNCR, WPA, GAP and the NFA have committed themselves to forming a coalition. On how it was going to work for Guyana he outlined the five principles on which the coalition will be based. They are:

A consensus Presidential Candidate;
A single Manifesto;
A single Campaign;
A symbol of Coalition; and
A name of Coalition.

He stressed that the Party will not be losing its identity since we will still be the PNCR. He also stated that the door is still open to the AFC and the GPP. The common task is to preserve our unity and solidarity and to remove the PPP/C from office.

Mr. Granger also said that we must not miss this opportunity in taking back the reins of Government. He spoke of all the mismanagement and damage to the various sectors of the economy and there is no way we can take another five years of the PPP/C. Match fixing, he said, caused us not to win and we have to deal with the match fixers. 2011 will not be an ethnic census; this is a vote for the nation of Guyana to take back our future for our children. We have to devise a strategy for getting all of these people on our side. We want to be able to bring about reconciliation and reconstruction to this nation so that young people could have a future; restore values in Government; restore respect; reform security and public service and to also give women and children a future.

The General Council concluded after approving Resolutions for (i) rescheduling of the Party’s Biennial Congress to be held no later than the end of March 2012, and (ii) the Party’s approach to contesting the 2011 General and Regional Elections in partnership with other Political Parties, Civil Society Groups and committed individuals.

In his Summation and Charge to General Council, the Leader of the PNCR, Mr. Robert Corbin, M.P., said that the main challenge is to create conditions under which all matters can be addressed. Many have complained about the deplorable conditions in which they had to survive and he said that it was time for nation building where we will have the power to build ourselves. No territory is sacrosanct to any party; all are open for a Government of unity. We must find a way to reach those far flung areas and to reach out to people in every community and every organisation. He further stated that we already have the right man for the job; a General who has experienced in tactical warfare and he has passed the test.

The Party is still inviting other groups into the coalition and there will be an official launching and declaration after the formal signing.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana

Saturday 21st May 2011