PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Saturday, July 24, 2004

On Saturday, July 24, 2004, the People’s National Congress Reform held its third General Council for the year at Congress Place. The General Council is the second highest decision-making Party forum, after the Biennial Congress. This General Council was especially important coming as it did a mere four weeks before the Party’s 14th Biennial Congress to be held from August 27th to 29th, 2004, a Biennial Congress that is likely to be the last before Regional and National Elections in Guyana. Accordingly, the main presentations and floor discussions at the General Council focused on reviewing the Party’s performance over the past quarter; examining ways to strengthen the Party structure; examining proposals to reform the Party’s constitution to improve internal accountability and efficiency; and discussing various strategies the Party can adopt in the run-up to National Elections.

The General Secretary of the Party, Mr. Oscar Clarke, in his presentation to the General Council, reported on the on-going preparations for the 14th Biennial Congress. He spoke about efforts to make the process for membership more efficient in light of the growing demand for Party membership both locally and internationally. Additionally, he gave a full account of the activities and events of the Regional Party groups, the GYSM and the NCW.

Leader of the PNCR, Mr. Robert Corbin, in his one-hour feature presentation, explained to the General Council the thinking behind the Party’s choice of Congress theme: “Building a Platform for Peace, National Cohesion and Reconstruction.” Given the persistent economic and political crisis Guyana faces, Mr. Corbin said, the Party has to map out an agenda for reconstruction. He added that reconstruction cannot, however, hope to succeed without first establishing peace and national cohesion in the country. The Party’s embrace of power-sharing, he said, was not to be misunderstood to mean the PNCR is unconvinced it can win an election. Instead, power-sharing for the PNCR means a system of governance that can, more than any other, guarantee to all Guyanese the sense of involvement and security all citizens desire. The PNCR Leader encouraged delegates to think about the various strategies the Party can adopt to ensure the realization of the congress theme.

Mr. Corbin also spoke of the necessity for the Party’s central executive members, Members of Parliament, and regional and local councilors to be more accountable to the people they serve. He emphasized the need for the Party to remain true to its founding creed of being an all-inclusive, multi-ethnic organization dedicated to improving the well-being of all Guyanese.

In the after-lunch period of the agenda, workshop sessions were held in which delegates fleshed out some of the ideas and proposals coming out of the Leader’s and other presentations. The floor discussion that followed was lively and provided a good basis for a full discussion and better-informed decision-making at the upcoming Biennial Congress. The General Council ended with a rousing charge from the Party Leader to the delegates on the need to remain committed, focused and optimistic.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Saturday, July 24, 2004