PNCR executives mount leadership challenge to Corbin

Kaieteur News
April 28, 2007

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The Central Executive Committee of the People's National Congress Reform (PNCR) was last evening locked in an emergency meeting following candid revelations that some of its members were prepared to lobby the party groups to support a candidate to contest the position of party Leader at this year's Biennial Congress.

The Committee Members conveyed their position during a meeting with Party Leader, Robert Corbin; Party Chairman Winston Murray and General Secretary Oscar Clarke.

According to a press statement, the executive members present at the meeting were Deborah Backer, James Mc Allister, Dr. Dalgleish Joseph, Vincent Alexander, Ivor Allen, Joseph Hamilton and Hamley Case.

“The executive members informed Mr. Corbin that they intend to commence a campaign among the party membership for the candidate of their choice,” the statement noted.

Against this background, the members conveyed their expectations in relation to the conduct of the affairs of the party in preparation for congress, given the party's commitment to the democratic process.

“The members stressed their commitment to continue to work to keep the party united,” the statement issued by the group noted.

While the group did not name a candidate, the statement said that the meeting with Corbin was ‘frank and cordial'.

This latest development brings to a semi-closure, months of speculations over the race for the PNCR leadership following the ignominious defeat to the People's Progressive Party/Civic at the polls last August.

Up to late last night, Corbin and other Executive Members could not be reached for comment on the developments

However, a source close to the party said that any candidate put forward by the group will have to gain the support of the party candidates during the party's Biennial Congress which is slated for August 17-19.

Corbin in an interview with Kaieteur News following his party's defeat at the polls last August said that he does not aspire to die in office as his predecessors did and revealed that the party has embarked on a programme to prepare young people within the party for leadership positions.

While many have criticised and even blamed Corbin for the dismal showing at the polls, he benefited from a unanimous resolution in support of his leadership at the party's General Council Meeting which was held late last year.

Corbin has been an elected member of the Central Executive Committee of the party for over thirty years and has served as its Senior Vice Chairman and General Secretary.

He was elected Chairman of the party at its Biennial Congress in August 2000 and was returned at the Biennial Congress in August 2002 for a further two-year term.

Consequent upon the sudden death of Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, he was elected Leader at a special Congress held on February 1, 2003.

The party should have held another Congress in August of last year, but that was put off to this year because of elections.