New PNC leader must have a racially inclusive programme
Stabroek News
March 16, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I was somewhat pleasantly surprised upon reading PNC/R Leader, Desmond Hoyte's reported comments that he intends to pave the way for a successor by March 9th, next, (SN, March 13, "Hoyte sees seamless transition to successor.")

I said somewhat because although circumstances and time dictate when leaders should go, I thought there were certain changes the party needed to undergo to be more effective, and that the disciplined leadership skills Mr. Hoyte is renowned for could have been greatly utilized in this regard before his departure.

At the least, he could have helped make his party more people friendly, as opposed to his predecessor's role of shaping the party around himself, eventually becoming the embodiment of the party, so that those who did not support him suffered in some way.

Established racial voting patterns in Guyana already have indicated there is no way the PNC/R could return to office without restructuring its executive and national leadership, or without developing a nationwide programme designed to be racially inclusive in which ideas for advancement will dominate, but Mr. Hoyte probably feels this is a herculean undertaking best suited for more energetic party leadership.

But as has always been my concern about leadership, who has he nurtured or trained to take over? Your news story byline read: "Signals not clear enough for Alexander, Trotman," subtly indicating that these two gentlemen may be potential candidates to succeed Mr. Hoyte.

However, what is their individual track record in the party and in

society? And out of this question I wish to state my belief that the time has come for Guyanese who want to lead in local political parties to have a commendable track record of voluntary service to the public and not just within the parties.

I have read Mr. (Raphael) Trotman's letters on the Internet, and because, like him, I feel deeply about our border issues with Suriname and Venezuela, I have taken an interest in what he might have to say otherwise. Unfortunately, there has not been that much otherwise on which to munch, nor do I know that much about his role in his party or his public service record, so that I am unsure what his peers think of him as potential leader of a

party capable of garnering 40% of the votes in presidential elections.

Mr. Vincent Alexander I know, since back in 1970, and not only on a somewhat personal level, but as a teenager who has been closely associated with his party's youth arm. He definitely is no Johnnie-come-lately. He has paid his dues in his party. His leadership skills obviously had to be of such a caliber that he earned the respect, admiration and trust of his superiors and peers, paving the way for him to become the party's vice chairman. He is of good family stock, a decent citizen, a keen listener, an avid reader, and an idealist.

Assuming he and Mr. Trotman are principal contenders, what does each plan to do differently within the party, should either become the next leader, to move it from opposition party to occupant of power (government)? And once in government, what does the party plan to do to move the country from struggling to succeeding?

For Mr. Alexander, should he eventually become the party's new leader, it would be interesting to compare his socioeconomic recovery plans and leadership style or skills with that of President Bharrat Jagdeo's since both men are believed to have received their university education in the Soviet Union. How do they plan to use their educational training in a communist nation to develop their homeland based on free market policies and strategies?

To Mr. Hoyte, I publicly thank him, way in advance, for decades of public service and for being a responsible leader who knows when the time has come to step aside. Do write a book, travel a little, rest a lot, and to keep an active mind, make arrangements to do some speaking/lecturing at U.G and U.W.I on CARICOM and international issues. Do not take all that knowledge and information with you into a slowly fading sunset.

Yours faithfully,

Emile Mervin