PNC’s failure to address sexual harassment allegations against Norton could adversely affect performance at 2025 polls

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
L-R: Vanessa Kissoon and Aubrey Norton

The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition has written the Peoples National Congress (PNC) regarding the recent sexual harassment allegations levelled against Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton by its own party stalwart, Vanessa Kissoon.

See full correspondence dispatched by APNU’s General Secretary Tabitha Sarabo-Halley to PNC’s General Secretary Dawn Hastings-Williams: 

Ms. Dawn Hastings-Williams,M.P. General SecretaryPeople’s National Congress ReformCongress PlaceSophia.

Dear General Secretary,

The Executive Members of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) have followed the events that have played out initially on social media over the past week and now feature prominently on both both print and electronic media concerning the allegations of sexual harassment brought forward by Ms. Vanessa Kissoon, an APNU Linden TownCouncillor, Teacher, and former Member of Parliament. Additionally, we have duly noted the statement from Mr. Aubrey Norton, the alleged perpetrator, who serves as an APNU Executive Member, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, and Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform.

As a matter of principle the APNU does not get involved in the internal operations and conflicts of its members’ political parties. However, you would agree with the APNU that on an issue of this nature no one can remain silent especially since the PNCR is the largest party in the APNU coalition and it is being represented by Mr. Aubrey Norton – Leader of the PNC/R.

We thus believe this allegation should be treated with utmost seriousness, consistent with our approach to previous instances involving public officials. Accordingly, we urge our partner, the PNCR, to swiftly initiate an independent investigation into this grave matter. This we believe is a reasonable response to put the PNCR on the best footing as we are deeply concerned that failing to address these allegations promptly could adversely affect the forthcoming Regional and General Elections.

We also request that any report from such an investigation be shared with the Executive of the APNU.

This approach will further underscore our commitment to fostering a culture of accountability and respect, and ensuring that allegations of misconduct are investigated thoroughly and impartially, safeguarding the integrity of the rule of law and thewell-being of all Guyanese citizens.

Within APNU, we all firmly uphold the belief that every woman and girl in Guyana should have unfettered opportunities to realize their fullest potential, devoid of any form of violence within their homes, schools, or workplaces. We advocate for a society where women’s rights are respected and protected, and where justice prevails without intimidation or discrimination.

Yours respectfully,

Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, MP General SecretaryAPNU