Letter: Should Norton resign as Leader of the PNC/R?

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Aubrey Norton

Dear Editor,

News has reached Guyana that the Florida Chapter of the PNC/R has called for the resignation of its leader, Mr Aubrey Norton. In many ways, this is not surprising. Since taking office last December, Mr Norton has not shown an iota of leadership. Rather, he has navigated himself and the PNC/R through a labyrinth of missteps, blunders, and downright political tomfoolery.

The debacle with the Mocha squatters’ relocation is only the latest act of dramatic incompetence. The ejection of PNC/R General Secretary Geeta Chandan Edmond is just as damning.

The PNC/R is quickly following in the footsteps of the AFC’s hobo-politico, this last expression meaning a party that has no real foundation, migrating, as it were, from one moment of opportunism to another.

The Florida PNC/R group claims that Mr Norton has “severally tarnished” the party; and further, under his leadership, there has been a “downward spiral” (Guyana Chronicle, 12/1/23).

US-based PNC/R member Egland Gomes is demanding that “[a]n investigation…be done about… blank cheques” that apparently PNC/R treasurer Faaiz Mursaline had been asked to sign. The Mursaline Affair (as I would like to call it) is itself a comedy of errors very much resembling the hobo-politics of the AFC.

Mursaline had stepped down from the PNC/R, stating that he was the object of racial hostility in the party. He is the one who revealed the alleged financial improprieties in the PNC/R. Notwithstanding his disgust with things in the PNC/R, he has reportedly grovelled back to Sophia. I suspect that Mr. Gomes will insist Mursaline clarify his erratic behaviour. Was he pressured to return to a party he had just days before charged with financial skullduggery?

Kaieteur News columnist Peeping Tom points out that the no-confidence motion of the Florida group should trigger Mr. Norton’s immediate resignation. According to Tom, “the [PNCR] constitution makes provision for the possibility of the Leader resigning – and no doubt this has to include resigning following a motion of no-confidence” (Kaieteur News, 12/1/23).

Peeping Tom is on strong grounds here, but given the lengthy record of the PNC/R to dodge, delay, and divert, no one would be surprised if the no-confidence motion is simply ignored. Recall that the APNU-AFC did this at the national level.

Readers should know that the lack of confidence in Mr. Norton has been festering for some time, with many persons within the PNC/R claiming to have been disenfranchised. Thus Gomes, of the US-based PNC/R has also raised “…concerns that were brought up last year by Annette Ferguson, who wrote the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) about alleged irregularities which were observed during the October 2 [2022] polls of the party’s Georgetown District Elections” (Guyana Chronicle, 12/1/23).

Voting irregularities are perhaps the most immediate symbol of the PNC/R, (and now APNU+AFC). Annette Ferguson’s concerns about rigging within the PNC/R were simply brushed aside. Why, then, would anyone believe Mr. Norton would even respond to Mr. Gomes and the concerns of the Florida PNC/R?

Sincerely,Dr Randolph Persaud