Hoyte foresees seamless transition to successor
Signals not clear enough for Alexander, Trotman
Stabroek News
March 13, 2002

Related Links: Articles on politics since March 19, 2001
Letters Menu Archival Menu

PNC/R leader Desmond Hoyte's clearest signal yet that he did not intend to remain as leader past his 74th birthday does not seem clear enough for two of the aspirants to the party's leadership to openly declare their intention to contest the post if and when it becomes vacant. The two were those Stabroek News was able to speak to so far.

Hoyte signalled his intention that his seventy-fourth birthday would not find him still leading his party in an interview with Christopher Ram aired on Sunday on VCT Channel 28, the day after he celebrated his 73rd birthday. He said too that there was time enough to arrange for a seamless transition to his successor. However he told Stabroek News that he could not as yet point to any definite plan when asked what the arrangements were to ensure a smooth transition.

Hoyte also told Stabroek News that there was some campaigning taking place, but he did not feel that open campaigning for the leadership of the party would divide it.

He said that there were many aspirants for the job and it was expected that they would visit the groups to mobilize support for their candidacy. And he said that it would be unfair to deny them the opportunity to do so even though there were no formal arrangements for such campaigning in the party.

PNC/R vice chairman, Vincent Alexander, a potential contender for the leadership position, does not feel that Hoyte's comments are enough basis for him to formally launch his campaign as a candidate for the top office in the party.

He also observed that his ongoing work in the party was in itself a way of proposing himself for higher office, including leadership of the party.

Nor were the comments enough for Raphael Trotman, who told Stabroek News that he had heard no categorical statement by Hoyte that he was not seeking re-election, therefore one had to be careful not to react to rumours and supposition.

But he said that he and no doubt others interested in succeeding would be making preparatory arrangements for contesting that position if and when it became vacant.

However, Alexander said, "at some time the party will need to have a new leader and when that time comes, once I am nominated I am prepared to run."

Trotman also said he believed that campaigning would not hurt the party once it was conducted with decorum, and as long as the candidates did not allow what was essentially an internal process to spill over into the populace at large. However, he said, the party had to fashion a mechanism that would allow party supporters to be kept informed about the campaign.