The PNC at sixty

Stabroek News - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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

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