State House hosted PNCR student award ceremony at president’s discretion -Harmon

President David Granger (at centre) with the Burnham Educational Scholarship Trust’s awardees and party officials at State House on Thursday. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

President David Granger used his discretion to allow State House to be used as the venue for the presentation of bursary awards to students by the PNCR’s Burnham Educational Scholarship Trust, State Minister Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

Harmon was at the time responding to a question about the holding of the party function on Thursday at State House, in light of concerns over the potential blurring of party and government lines.

“That is a decision that His Excellency makes. He is the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and depending on what is convenient to him, based on his schedule, the president will determine where he holds any activity,” Harmon said after an observance ceremony for the International Day for Disaster Reduction yesterday.

President Granger is the leader of the PNCR, which is the largest member of governing coalition partner APNU. He is also the patron of the Trust, which on Thursday presented bursary awards to students who completed the National Grade Six Assessment Examinations.

The Ministry of the Presidency, in a statement on the award ceremony, said that the event was hosted at the Baridi Benab at State House to allow the students to visit the official residence, as has been allowed for hundreds of students across the country since 2015.

The ministry noted that the Trust is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, established to support educationally talented children of members of the PNCR from the 10 administrative regions.

In honour of the PNCR’s 60th anniversary, which is currently being celebrated, two students from the 2012 batch of Trust awardees received cheques to cover the cost of their first year of tuition at the University of Guyana and book vouchers totaling $50,000 each. The other awardees received $30,000 book vouchers as well as $10,000 each.

Meanwhile, Harmon yesterday also challenged opposition PPP/C executive member Anil Nandlall to prove his claim that government is using state funds to finance the PNCR’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

“I would like to know where Mr. Nandlall got that information from. Let him produce the evidence because…the PPP is in the habit know of just throwing out these wild assertions without any evidential basis. Let Mr. Nandlall come and produce the basis,” he said, while urging the press to probe what he dubbed the “wild assertions.” “What is the evidential basis upon which you make that statement?” he said before calling on Nandlall and the PPP/C to produce the evidence.