GUYANA: Politics: New PNC/R Leader Aubrey Norton, to confront PPP/c on oil money

…says funds will not be siphoned off by corrupt cabal

Dec 21, 2021  -Kaieteur News -Newly elected leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Aubrey Norton, on his first day of taking over the reins of the party, immediately put on notice his political opponents in the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Administration that it would not be allowed to rob the nation of its resources through a corrupt cabal.

PHOTO: Newly Elected PNC/R Leader, Aubrey Norton

Norton gave the stern warning yesterday, minutes after being formally declared the new leader of the Party following its 21st Biennial Congress on Saturday last.            

Delivering remarks for the first time as PNCR leader, Norton immediately drew attention to the recent amendments tabled by the administration regarding changes to the Natural Resource Fund—the depository for Guyana’s oil earnings.

To this end, Norton was adamant, “we intend to confront them,” and warned that the PNC/R will not allow the PPP/C to put the machinery in place to rob this country.”

Addressing the amendments directly, Norton observed that the changes “they are seeking to make is creating the conditions to rob Guyana.”
Additionally, the impassioned Norton declared, “we have to put an end to this kleptocracy, we cannot allow the resources of this country to be siphoned off by a corrupt PPP cabal.”

He was adamant, “our resources must benefit all the people of Guyana, “Norton committed that this is his intention and as such, “we put the PPP on notice.”
According to Norton in his charge to the PPP/C, “we expect you to respond to the will of the Guyanese people or we will act politically.”

Speaking to other immediate demands of the party given its urgency, Norton told party members and supports, among the first obstacles the party must confront is the matter of a new voters list, since “we cannot go to elections without a new votes list; we have to uninstall them.”

It was in this vein that he reminded of the proposed amendments that he said the PNC/R will oppose vigorously, “the gerrymandering of elections boundaries: we will not allow them to change the boundaries in Region Four.”

Norton also in his first address as leader of the PNCR took aim at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), its Chairperson Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh and the newly appointed Chief Elections Officer, Vishnu Persaud.

According to Norton, the Party has to restore “in this country, the situation where people are appointed based on merit and in keeping with the specification of the job.”

Thus, he was adamant that Persaud was not the best candidate for the Office of GECOM CEO and was, in fact, only appointed through the collusion of the government nominated commissioners and the Chairman.

He was of the view that the basis for free and fair elections has to be fair elections officials and they are not.

Further, Norton took aim at the Private Sector Commission, which he referred to as separate and distinct from the Private Sector generally since, according to the new PNCR leader, “many believe the PSC does not reflect their interest” charging that the body only served on a partisan political basis.

To emphasize his position, he suggested that the party will struggle for a Private Sector that is genuine and not only serving narrow political interests. The Private Sector, he said, “should act independent, a lot of times, they don’t do that.”

As such, he posited that Guyana needs a Private Sector Commission that would reflect all ethnicities in businesses.

Having outlined an aggressive agenda including the rebuilding of an inclusive party, Norton has since announced that competitor; Dr. Richard Van West Charles would be named an advisor, as is the case with outgoing Chairwoman, Volda Lawrence.

In making the announcement, the newly elected PNC/R leader said he, along with his newly elected Central Executive Committee, will be working towards making the party into a permanent elections machine, working together with all who are willing to contribute.

Noticeably absent from yesterday’s proceedings was Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon who lost to Norton by a massive landslide.

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Comments

  • brandli62  On 12/22/2021 at 9:07 am

    Here is the most troubling part of the new NRF bill proposed by the Ali administration:

    “Under the Government’s proposed Bill, Guyana will be allowed to withdraw 100% of the first US$500 million of deposits from the previous fiscal year, 75% of the second, 50% of the third, 25% of the fourth, 5% of the fifth, and 3% of any amounts in excess of the first two US$500 million. When the government doesn’t yet have these figures, the figures would be substituted with the best estimate. The exception to these rules is cases of major natural disaster(s).”

    In other words, all the money will be spent now with no or only minimal saving made for the future. The is the original sin made with the sovereign wealth fund. The current administration is about to do so, if they are not stopped.

    Reference:
    “New wealth fund bill seeking to establish 9-member committee, down from 22”
    OilNow, December 17, 2021
    https://oilnow.gy/featured/new-wealth-fund-bill-seeking-to-establish-9-member-committee-down-from-22/

  • wally n  On 12/22/2021 at 11:02 am

    A committee without teeth is no committee 42….22..9. Once the money is transferred to general spending, it is gone forever.
    What specific recourse has the Government offered, if the committee,the opposition,the people object? Can people expect the present Government to rise above politics, since the effects of these decisions are long lasting, may be the time for GUYANA FIRST.

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