No change in PNCR policy or leadership -Corbin

Stabroek News
January 5, 2003

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PNCR Chairman Robert Corbin says he foresees no changes in the present leadership of the party, which he says is solidly united behind him, despite the speculation of some outsiders.

The policy position of the party also remains the same as it was under its late leader, Desmond Hoyte. Corbin takes over the running of the party until a general council is convened to elect an interim leader who will lead the party into its next biennial congress, now less than twenty months away. That is likely to happen before February 21, and Corbin is likely to be pressed into service until then.

Speaking with Stabroek News on Friday, Corbin said that just as under Hoyte, the PNCR saw the Social Partners' crime initiative as part of the wider discussions on inclusive governance.

The talks between the Social Partners and the parliamentary parties stalled when after three meetings at the Supreme Court Library, the governing and opposition parties failed to make headway on reaching agreement on an acceptable draft. Corbin said he stood ready to pursue the discussions on shared governance since it accorded with a decision of the last party congress. At that time Hoyte had observed that "adjusted governance" was an idea whose time had come. Subsequently, a committee was established to develop the party's concept of shared governance. It submitted its draft proposals on the topic to the Social Partners last month and hoped to initiate an internal party debate as well as spark a national debate on the issue.

Reacting to the suggestion that there was every likelihood of him leading the party into the next congress, Corbin agreed with the possibility and said that if he were to be pressed into service he would want to ensure during that period that the party was strengthened and organised so that it could carry out its tasks with increasing efficiency. He also hoped that an economic venture would be embarked on, the plans for which he wanted to accelerate, and for the party to continue to provide the kind of representation its members expected. Asked what he anticipated would be the outcome of the co-operation with the government over Hoyte's funeral, Corbin said he hoped that the belated recognition of Hoyte's contribution to the development of the country ushered in a new era in which the PPP/C exhibited a willingness to respond positively to the causes he had championed.

These included addressing the concerns of the marginalised and the impoverished, the solution for which had no short cuts.

However, Corbin said the PNCR would respond positively to government initiatives to deal with these problems. He said too that the people would also respond positively if the government were seen to be making genuine attempts to address their concerns.

Asked to comment on a situation into which he had been thrust by force of circumstance, Corbin said his primary concern now was the people and the party's interests, with his own desire to pursue a career in law having to be put on the backburner for the time being.

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