THE FAILURE OF THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE TIMELY ACTION TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GUYANESE PEOPLE-- PRESS STATEMENT Friday, February 27, 2009




Summary
• The crisis is regional in scope and dimension, therefore, the PNCR urges that it be raised, on an urgent basis, at the next summit conference of the Caribbean Community;
• The decisions made, as a consequence of that Retreat, provided the basis for a number of changes in the operations of the Party.

THE FAILURE OF THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE TIMELY ACTION TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GUYANESE PEOPLE

The PNCR issued a Press Release yesterday on this very important national financial crisis.

It is evident that the Jagdeo Administration has been negligent in its delayed and dilatory manner in which they moved to protect the valuable assets held by the Guyanese people. Thousands of Guyanese workers are dependent on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which has a substantial investment in CLICO. Therefore, it must be a matter of national concern that the Administration failed to act with dispatch to protect the investment, made by the NIS, on behalf to these Guyanese workers, in CLICO.

A responsible, caring and pro-active Administration would not have put its friendships before its duty to take all necessary measures to assess the implications of the developments with respect to CLICO, within the Region, as well as the implications of the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Trust Company losing nearly US$1.5 million in pension funds.

The Party also expected, instead of remaining silent, the Bank of Guyana, as the Monetary authority in Guyana, and the Commissioner of Insurance, would discharge their national responsibilities by submitting their proposals for dealing, in a timely manner, with the impending crisis.

The Party also wishes to remind the Jagdeo Administration that it has been calling for the appointment of a group of experts, from within Guyana and the Region, who understand the intricacies of the local and regional economies, to urgently analyse the current financial and economic crisis and propose solutions to cushion the effects of these developments on the Guyana economy.

The crisis is regional in scope and dimension, therefore, the PNCR urges that it be raised, on an urgent basis, at the next summit conference of the Caribbean Community.

The PNCR will table another Motion on this matter in the National Assembly of the Parliament under another Standing Order which could permit it to be debated in three days time.

PNCR HOLDS STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP RETREAT 20-22 FEBRUARY 2009

The process of reforming, reinvigorating, and modernising the structure and operations of the People’s National Congress Reform, so that it remains a force in national politics which effectively represents its members, supporters and the Guyanese people, was advanced when the Party held its Strategic Leadership Retreat, at the Splashmin’s Resort, on 20-22 February 2009. This Retreat represents another important part of the ongoing process to ensure that the Party is equipped to confront the challenges of the present and future eras.

Not long after the death of its second leader, Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, the PNCR held a Retreat to make a critical examination of its activities. The decisions made, as a consequence of that Retreat, provided the basis for a number of changes in the operations of the Party. This process was given added momentum at the 15th Biennial Congress in 2007. The deadline set for critical reforms was by the 16th Biennial Congress in 2009. It is in that context that this Retreat must be seen and evaluated. It is also in that context, as well, that the efforts of the PNCR to strengthen itself by: improving the functioning of Party Groups; fortifying its presence in the regions; working with other stakeholders to devise an agreed programme for the achievement of shared governance in Guyana; and ensuring that all of the Guyanese people have an equitable access to the national pie, must be understood.

The continuously deteriorating national economic and social situation, and the ominously threatening international financial and economic storm clouds, persuaded the leadership of the Party that the time had come to accelerate the process of reform. The implications of the problems afflicting Guyana have been analysed and explained publicly, by the Party, on many occasions, as part of its ongoing programme to inform and educate the people of Guyana.

The rapidly deteriorating security situation and the sharp decline in the economy are two of the main areas for concern, at the present time. Guyana’s socio-economic dilemmas have intersected with the onset of the global financial and economic crisis. Guyanese are already aware of some of those consequences, especially as this relates to their economic well-being. Only a strengthened and reformed PNCR could provide the leadership needed in this environment.

The Party has already, in a Press Release dated 22 February 2009, given the names of those who coordinated and acted as facilitators and some of the political luminaries and academicians who participated in the Retreat. There is no need therefore to repeat them here.

Several critical issues engaged the attention of the Retreat. These were: the analysis of the current state of the Party; the leadership structure; Party organisation; reaching out to non-traditional communities; and increasing its membership from among young people and women. The relationship of the Party with the labour movement and NGO’s also came under scrutiny. These matters were examined in some detail. It was generally agreed, that the process of reform must be deepened while the Party must be reinvigorated and modernised. A number of solutions were proposed and the Central Executive of the PNCR would be responsible for implementing them, in the near future.

The Retreat discussed the global financial and economic crisis and the implications for the Guyana economy. This is one area in which the PNCR will have to give specific leadership. The Retreat noted that the global economic crisis would have serious implications for the Guyanese people, especially the poor, vulnerable and single parents. The PNCR by advocacy and recommendations will have to play an assertive role to bring some form of assistance to these groups.

One of the immediate results of the Retreat was the direction, given to the leaders from each of the regions to immediately inform members and supporters in their region on what transpired at the Retreat. Decisions of the Retreat will form part of the Regional and District Conferences. As far as the regions are concerned, one of the important decisions reached by the Retreat is that the means and methods of communication, between the centre and the regions, would have to be urgently improved. It was recognised that the regions are of seminal importance to the work of the Party and the national development of Guyana.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday, February 27, 2009