Trotman faces `no confidence' motion for July 3 statements
Guyana Chronicle
July 17, 2002

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A `NO CONFIDENCE' motion was Sunday moved against Central Executive member, Mr. Raphael Trotman for statements he reportedly made last week that the main Opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R) should share some of the blame for the July 3 storming of the Presidential Complex in Georgetown, sources said.

The Chronicle understands that the motion was an attempt to censure Trotman for the statements he made and which were carried in the Stabroek News newspaper last Tuesday under the page one headline 'Presidential complex storming - PNC/R must share some of the blame'.

Sources said the motion was presented at a general members meeting the PNC/R held at its Congress Place, Sophia headquarters Sunday, but was not carried by the meeting.

The PNC/R, in a statement Monday, said Sunday's meeting was convened in the wake of recent events and "in view of the rapid deteriorating economic, political and social conditions in the country".

The Opposition party said that coming out of those discussions at the meeting, "it was reaffirmed that in the face of its adversaries, party loyalty is of paramount importance and that on matters of party policy there shall be one position as decided by the relevant forum and articulated by the official or authorised spokesperson of the party".

According to the source, some members of the PNC/R have not taken too kindly to the fact that Trotman came out so boldly and admitted that the PNC/R must share some of the blame for the events that occurred at the Office of the President on July 3.

"The party should claim equal responsibility. (The events) were not planned by the party nor the party's executive, but the party cannot divorce itself from the events," Trotman reportedly told Stabroek News.

"The party has to be brave enough to accept some responsibility in terms of the loss of life and all the persons affected; they are consequences which flowed and therefore we cannot pretend we were in no way involved. The entire incident is regretted, particularly the loss of life and property," Trotman reportedly said.

Trotman, who is an Attorney-at-Law, is a leading candidate in the ongoing leadership battle within the PNC/R.

Contacted yesterday, Trotman told the Chronicle he does not want to comment on the issue.

Shortly after the July 3 incident, another front-runner in the PNC/R leadership race, Chairman Robert Corbin, had said that the party was in no way responsible for the events which followed an illegal protest march from the East Coast Demerara.

He said the party always operated within the confines of the law but certain elements had infiltrated the demonstration.

Corbin also disassociated the PNC/R from any perceived attempt to topple the presidency.

A number of organisations have come out and blamed the PNC/R for being involved in the July 3 incident where supporters of that Opposition party conducted an illegal protest march and stormed the Office of the President in Georgetown.

Police shot dead two of the protesters while several others were wounded.

One group noted that "Wednesday July 3, 2002 will go down as another shameless day in which the (PNC/R) in their quest for power led its misdirected supporters to terrorise workers at the Office of the President, burnt businesses and vehicles and robbed and beat innocent residents on the East Coast of Demerara".