Press Statement By People’s National Congress Reform To The Press Conference on Thursday, August 15th, 2002 Halls of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia

The 13th Biennial Congress of the People’s National Congress Reform will run from Friday August 16th to Sunday August 18th, 2002. Over 2000 Delegates and Observers from the 10 Regions of Guyana will be participating and indeed, some of our hinterland Delegations have already started to arrive. The strength of the participation reflects the grass roots strength of the Party since the size of Delegations is directly related to the financial membership of the Party. This is perhaps bad news for those who have been confidently predicting the decline and demise of the Party and its support base.

The Congress will begin with the formal opening ceremony on Friday evening. This ceremony though rich in cultural activity is nevertheless centred on the feature address of the Party leader Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte during which it is expected that he will make an analysis of the political and economic situation in Guyana and the outline of his vision of the way in which the Party will prepare itself to tackle the numerous challenges of the coming years. We anticipate that this will be a wide ranging address which will lay the basis for the policies of the PNC/R as it prepares itself for election to office and the kinds of policies and programmes which the PNC/R will implement when this occurs.
On Saturday August 17th, the General Secretary, Mr. Oscar Clarke will report to the Congress on the state of the Party, its organs and its political work. Again, we anticipate that this address will adumbrate necessary reforms and reorganisation of the Party structure as it gets ready to take its political struggle to new levels. Immediately following the General Secretary’s report, there will be a panel discussion on “The Way Forward” which will be based on the analyses and proposals contained in the addresses by the Leader and General Secretary. This is an important aspect of the Congress programme since it will allow the general membership of the Party to respond directly to the visions of their Party leadership; and from this open discussion, the Party will forge a consensus on the Way ahead for the People’s National Congress Reform. It is expected that such issues as the tactics and strategies, the ideology and philosophy of the Party and its future social and economic polices will be agreed.

At the conclusion of the general discussion, the Congress will break into workshops to refine particular strategies for “The Way Forward” and the Party arms, the National Congress of Women and the Youth and Students Movement will hold their individual Congresses on Sunday August 18th in the morning. The Party will also debate questions and motions from Party groups around the country. These include suggestions for Party policy plans for the reform of the machinery as well as questions seeking clarification on the Party’s position on such issues as the dialogue process.
The election of office bearers for the new biennium will take place on Sunday afternoon. As is usual in open government, there is keen discussion and lobbying on the various candidates. I will ask the General Secretary to bring you up to date on the state of responses by the nominees to the various positions after this statement is concluded.

PNC Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Thursday August 15th, 2002