Williams mum about presidential candidacy

-denies connection to anti-Murray campaign

Vice Chairman of the PNCR Basil Williams has declined to say whether he is interested in being his party’s presidential candidate at next year’s elections but says he would not criticise any person who wishes to campaign for the leadership of the party.

Responding to questions about the possibility of him being the party’s presidential candidate, Williams yesterday said that he did not want to pre-empt the decision of the party’s membership. During the press conference at Congress Place, he also distanced himself from a recent poster campaign advocating him to become the party’s presidential candidate ahead of former Chairman Winston Murray. The posters, which were placed by anonymous persons, said that Williams commanded support among the grass roots people and respect among all ethnic groups. They also highlighted that he was outspoken and willing to work with others and that he was intelligent, articulate and qualified with enormous experience.  His years of yeoman service to the party were also highlighted. Murray had unsuccessfully challenged Robert Corbin for the party’s leadership last year.

Williams said he believed that any person was free to contest any public office he or she felt they could fill. “I wouldn’t criticise Mr. Murray or any other person who believes that they have the ability to run for any office in this country,” he said. He, however, emphasised that the question of who led the party in the next general elections was a question for the PNCR membership.

Party leader Robert Corbin, during his address to the General Council in March, announced that he will not be the party’s Presidential candidate and said that  “a major challenge for the party was to find a consensus presidential candidate who could win the confidence of the majority of Guyanese” at the polls.

Recently, party member Lance Carberry said that in finding a “consensual candidate,” the party will be engaging a number of stakeholders including civil society groups.  Senior party officials have since said that this process has not officially commenced.

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