Riehl says Granger ‘too aloof’

-had been prepared to vote for Norton

Former Deputy House Speaker and PNCR executive, Clarissa Riehl yesterday said she will likely quit the party over yesterday’s congress confusion and she described David Granger as “an aloof leader who stands aside” when he should be more involved in the management of the party.

While she told reporters yesterday that she has gotten such reports prior to the PNCR’s 18th Biennial Congress, she says her critique of his leadership style stems from his failure to take charge of the confusion which characterized much of the voting process at Congress Place, Sophia yesterday.

“For instance, this morning when there was a surge at the gate from the Linden people who were dissatisfied, I know any of our past leaders would go and stand there and say `come comrades let’s have order and we’ll try to sort this out’”.

Instead, Riehl said she observed Granger standing aside with one of his senior members and bodyguard just drinking water.

Clarissa Riehl
Clarissa Riehl

“I found that very strange. He should have been at the helm at every time, at every aspect of things, it don’t take rocket science to know that. You’re the head of this party. You’re supposed to use your authority to calm in a calming way”, Riehl, a former shadow foreign affairs minister said.

Riehl, who says she has not set foot in Congress Place since 2011, told reporters she renewed her membership and turned out to vote for Aubrey Norton as leader yesterday because she supported the idea that the party’s leader and its presidential candidate should be different persons. Such an arrangement, she suggested, would force the two to work together and would produce a better outcome for the people.

However, after what transpired yesterday Riehl says she may just quit the party.

She blames Granger’s lack of political mileage for what she perceives to be his shortcomings. Riehl, herself a former member of the women’s arm of the Guyana Defence Force, noted that while he is an accomplished military leader, the skills he acquired during his time in the army are different from what is needed to run a political party.

“…You have to hug people and shake hands and hug babies and talk nice to people… I’ve heard many comments that Mr. Granger is too stiff and aloof for the ordinary people”, Riehl, also a former magistrate said.


Confusion at the gate

In addition to the dispute with the Lindeners, there was also some confusion at the gate when several persons who claimed to be members were not immediately allowed to gain access to the grounds. “I never see this happen in hey yet,” one man commented after security officials refused to let him in.

“Who is he? He know me? He know wuh I do fuh this party, he know when I went in ghetto and thing. Where this banna been when I been pon concrete lying down and get lock up fuh this party,” another asked.

The security personnel were trying to explain to persons that registration was closed and that those without identification cards could not enter the premises. Several such persons nevertheless insisted they be granted access to the grounds and this prompted the guards to padlock the gate for a while.

As such, several persons who had identification documents opted to jump from the bridge to the reserve and walk around the ground’s front fence. At least two successfully made it inside before the guards caught on to the tactic. A third was stopped as she tried to follow suit.

Persons on the inside who had already voted were also prevented from leaving the grounds for some time after the gate was padlocked. At one point, a seemingly frustrated guard said, “leh Granger come and open the gate heself, me ain’t opening the gate…Some people have no documents. How I gon allow them fuh go in…These people know the rules I don’t know why they can’t follow it.”

As all this went on, and as word emerged that a gunshot was heard on the grounds one man was heard telling his friend, “I scared right now, I don’t know how all ah dis happening.”

Another irate man who was denied entry said “I now see why we getting lash yuh know, I now see why we getting lash. In (Forbes) Burnham time this wudda never lock…is best yuh switch and go hang yuh mouth weh de soup deh… they never lock the gate pon nobody…”

More in Local News

The newly commissioned $26.5 million Student Loan Agency, located at the University of Guyana Turkeyen’s campus

UG loan defaulters face travel ban

Government yesterday outlined proposed measures to ensure that University of Guyana (UG) students repay their loans, including barring those with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

default placeholder

Sexually-abused girls, ages 13 to 15, largest group in children’s homes

Over the last ten years, the number of children in institutional care in Guyana has increased by almost 50%, with girls between the ages of 13 and 15, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, representing the largest single age group.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil seeking more acreage for oil search

American oil firm ExxonMobil is seeking to acquire more acreage offshore Guyana and a top executive has reiterated that the plan for production is “probably early into the next decade at this point.” In a quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday, ExxonMobil’s Vice President, Investor Relations and Secretary Jeffrey J.

default placeholder

Troy records second quarter drop in gold production

Australian mining company Troy Resources Limited has produced 34,740 ounces of gold for the year up to the end of June at its Karouni gold project here and adverse weather conditions and teething problems at its mill are being blamed for hindering operations in the last quarter.

default placeholder

GGMC workers to get six weeks’ pay bonus for 2015

While they anticipate as much as a 25% increase in salary for 2016, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) workers yesterday welcomed an announcement by government of a one-off six weeks’ payout for last year.

Leroy Bennett

Teen repairman dies after fall from rice mill’s roof

A young repairman lost his life yesterday when he fell from the roof of the Ancient County Rice Mill, in Berbice.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: