The incident which led to MP Vanessa Kissoon’s suspension from the PNCR is still to be officially pronounced upon by the newly elected Central Executive of the party.
This newspaper understands that Kissoon’s suspension was lifted by Leader, David Granger so that she could attend last weekend’s Congress as a delegate.
Kissoon’s altercation with party General Secretary Oscar Clarke has triggered dissent from her over the way the party has handled the matter. She has argued that Granger had no authority to suspend her and this had to be done by a specially convened committee.
The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Allan Munroe, has said that a recommendation was made and given to Granger following the disciplinary committee’s meeting on Tuesday last just prior to Congress.
Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Kissoon said that it was through media reports that she learnt of her suspension being temporarily lifted. Stabroek News asked if she was contacted by the disciplinary committee at any time to which she said no.
She revealed that the Chairman of the committee had spoken to her just prior to the hearing on July 22 noting that without her presence the committee would proceed. Kissoon had decided not to attend the hearing as she was not happy with the manner in which it was appointed and its composition. Kissoon stated that she attended Congress and was given her delegate card by party executive Winston Felix and “that was that.”
In a statement yesterday, Kissoon noted that “again, through the media I am advised that my party Leader Mr. David Granger had lifted the suspension he imposed on me on 24th June for 12 hours to allow me to participate in congress.”
She stated that “My attendance at congress was consistent with Rule 15 of the party constitution and under which I was accordingly accredited. It was not a concession granted.”
The party’s handling of Kissoon’s suspension has been marred by what many critics have noted was a lack of cohesion. Stabroek News reached out to members of the committee to see what additional work needed to be done, but was directed to Munroe. He eventually revealed that the committee had a hearing and a decision was made with a recommendation sent to Granger just before Congress.
Following the 18th Biennial Congress, the party is yet to have a comprehensive list of the new central executive members, meaning that Kissoon’s suspension won’t be pronounced upon until the establishment of the new executive. However, observers point out that this makes little sense as it is the old executive which considered the matter and which should have completed the decision-making process.
Granger on Sunday had stated that Kissoon’s suspension had been lifted but that the findings of the Committee’s decision are yet to be revealed.
Stabroek News was unable to reach Granger yesterday for comment on Kissoon’s statement. Her suspension was imposed by Granger on June 24 after the incident involving Clarke on June 20. Kissoon has also questioned how come Clarke has not been subjected to the same measures she has suffered
The party has been criticised internally for actions taken against Kissoon as none was taken against Clarke. Kissoon’s suspension was one of the many reasons the PNCR delegates from Linden chose to protest over at the opening of the Congress on Friday.
Kissoon yesterday explained their actions.
“The reports that Linden protested against the congress is inaccurate. The placards Lindeners carried illustrated photographs and quotes of the three former leaders which resonated with us. This expression was an act of making known the visions of our former leaders are still relevant.
None of the placards was anti-party. Contrary to the views of some, the red, black and white attire and green arm bands worn by Lindeners during the three-day event were done to display the party and national flags.
“Lindeners chose to use these colours to help persons to re-identify with the party colours and heroes since these are observed to be undermined in the party. No organisation can grow and develop without solid foundation. The current leaders and members of the PNCR are here because of the foundation built by previous leaders and members and we saw it fitting to make acknowledgement. Linden party members are offended that in their continued fight for their rights from the government and within the party they are being accused of being PPP redcoats”, she said.