The PNC at sixty
Was on a brief overseas vacation so I missed all the Georgetown celebratory activities marking the 60th anniversary of the People’s National Congress (PNC) last weekend.
But political ironies and coincidences can abound. And frequently do. If the PNC was celebrating its glorious sixtieth anniversary on October 5th the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – PNC’s political rival and nemesis – was gleefully, ruefully observing that very date (October 5th) when they wrested power from Desmond Hoyte’s PNC in 1992 ending twentyeight years of PNC reign, domination and control over our Big Beautiful but Blighted Republic.
However today I conclude my own personalized review and remarks relevant to what I both perceived and knew about the only political entity of which I was once a paid-up member for a while, beginning in 1973.
Nineteen-seventy-three meant that PNC “Founder-Leader” Forbes Burnham had already dumped the United Force (in 1968) his rightist political “coalition” partner of convenience. It was a virtual decade after the PNC’s arrival in government (1964) and the Maximum Leader/Prime Minister was solidifying his hold on the nation. The Party had welcomed both Independence (1966) and Republican status (1970)
Elections were held on Monday, 16th July 1973. The PNC outdid itself at the polls vanquishing the PPP – 243,803 votes to 92,374 votes. Frankly speaking, the Party seemed to have created the technique of “electoral engineering.” For better or for worse, my own convenient morality – as a new 1973 PNC member – regarded the PNC’s elections maneuvering as an appropriate counter to the other side’s racial voting and majority ethnic bias. (Poor me, in those days.)
Strangely, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) did little or nothing to condemn the PNC’s elections. After all Burnham was an architect of both
These personal random notes cannot ever do justice to the development and transitions of the PNC. So now, a brief passage on Hugh Desmond Hoyte.
To me, frankly speaking, Mr. Hoyte was a reluctant “comrade” and politician. A defence attorney who represented PNC accused during and after the race riots of American President Donald Trump has to go down as one of his country’s