PNCR to begin process to select presidential candidate

The main opposition party yesterday took a decision to assemble a team to identify the process to select its presidential candidate for next year’s general elections.

Stabroek News was told that the decision was made on a motion to the effect which was approved at a PNCR General Council meeting at Congress Place. The party has set a date in August by which the team would be set up and a report on the process would be presented to the next General Council meeting, scheduled for September.

The move comes following the announcement by party leader Robert Corbin that he would not be the presidential candidate for the party at next year’s general elections. Stabroek News was told that the motion was presented since there had been no follow up on the issue since the announcement was made in March.

The General Council is the highest forum after the party’s Biennial Congress.

Other major items that were considered at the meeting included reports on several recent developments, including alliances and coalition as well as the party’s programme and activities on to 2011.

Corbin had told the last council meeting that he was “not going to be the presidential candidate for the 2011 general and regional elections” and 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. “This, he felt, would have stimulated all to work together and recognise that it was necessary to demonstrate, by hard work and example, that they were capable of undertaking the onerous responsibilities ahead,” the party said in a statement afterward, adding, “He also explained that his decision was motivated by his appreciation of the need to have all available persons working together for the greater task of building a better country for all Guyanese.”

He, however, subsequently indicated that he would not be stepping down from the post of party leader, after there was speculation that he was prepared to do so. Some critics have said his decision to remain as leader would undermine whoever is selected as the party’s candidate.

In addition to a candidate, the party has also been exploring electoral alliances with other opposition forces as well as civil society groups.

The party has said it is committed to develop, “without precondition” a working understanding with any individual or entity, even from within the PPP, willing to negotiate in good faith on a platform to transform the country.

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