PNC/R congress set for August
Leadership nominations still to be submitted
Stabroek News
June 1, 2002

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The PNC/R's second congress since its incorporation of the REFORM wing in September 2000 will convene between August 16 and 18 but party officials are in no position to say who are the contestants for the leadership of the party.

Party Chairman Robert Corbin told a Congress Place press conference on Thursday that the nominations were to be made by the party groups across the country but that they had not been submitted as yet. He said that the preparations were well underway and a special press conference would be called to brief the media.

There is widespread speculation that PNC/R leader, Desmond Hoyte, would not stand for re-election. He had hinted at demitting office earlier this year but party insiders are still uncertain about the timing.

An attempt to name a deputy leader who would take over from Hoyte was aborted at the last congress, with delegates believing that he was best suited to lead them into the March 2001 elections. They resorted to the party constitution and those jockeying for the leadership battle were then thrown into a campaign for the chairmanship of the party, when the then incumbent, Winston Murray declined nomination for the post.

Corbin, who had counselled against a fractious leadership race ahead of elections, won the race for the chairmanship. He is yet to definitively indicate an interest in leading the party at this time. Meanwhile, a number of the aspirants for the post, including vice-chairman, Vincent Alexander and executive member, Raphael Trotman, have already begun campaigning in the event that Hoyte does not stand for re-election.