…as party ‘bigwigs’ prepare to duel for key posts at upcoming CongressBy Michael YoungeLeader of the People’s National Congress (PNC), David Granger may have to defend his seat at the party’s upcoming 20th biennial Congress, as at least two senior PNC leaders are mulling the idea of mounting a serious challenge for the top party post.Granger is currently President of Guyana, Leader of the PNC and Chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity which forms part of the governing coalition with the Alliance For Change.A source close to Congress Place on Thursday confirmed that even though traditionally the leader of the PNC is the person who is automatically its Presidential Candidate, there are those in the party who believe that the powers and portfolios Granger currently holds within the party and coalition must be re-examined and reduced to allow others to also influence the destiny of the party.“It is currently a one man show. Mr Granger controls every facet of our party and it is as though, he is the reincarnation of Burnham. Sure, we have a General Secretary but she is powerless to make any changes unless it is rubberstamped by Mr Granger. This is creating uneasiness amongst grassroots and diehard PNCites who do not support the manner in which the party is being run,” the source said.Asked whether those who were considering challenging President Granger for the post could become the subject of sinister attacks and smear campaigns or even ostracised from the party by those loyal to the incumbent leader, the source said “they are fully aware of the consequences but someone has to shake up the party and remind it of its focus”.“Many of us feel the party has gotten too soft and has given too much away to the AFC. We don’t see the need for the AFC and we want a PNC Government that will transform this country’s landscape like Desmond Hoyte and Forbes Burnham did. The AFC brought nothing to the table but are enjoying everything even though their Ministers are performing poorly… just look at agriculture for instance,” the source complained.Questioned further about the identity of the would-be challengers, the source said vaguely, “it is not newcomers. At least one of the men who said he was contemplating challenging Granger should have been leader before him, as he is more seasoned and has much more experience in governance and party politicsLeader of the People’s National Congress, David Grangerthan the current comrade leader”.He would neither confirm nor deny if that reference was directly pointing to Carl Greenidge who also with the late Dr Faith Harding and Dr Van West-Charles had challenged Granger for the key leadership post in the past.When contacted on Thursday, Party General Secretary Amna Ally told Guyana Times that all of the necessary arrangements are being put in place for the party’s upcoming congress which is slated for August 17-19.Ally said the “first circular” had already been sent to party groups who are being encouraged to fully participate in the highest decision-making forum of the PNC.Asked whether any official nominations have been made for key leadership posts to date, Ally responded in the negative. She said next week, the media would be briefed on the process and all other details pertaining to the actual congress.Ally, who took over the reins of the party from PNC stalwart Oscar Clarke, confirmed that the leadership posts were wide open to any member of the party.“Any member can contest any post once they are a legitimate member of the PNC”, Ally insisted. She did not say when the period of nominations was expected to commence or close but said a number of candidates would be fielded as is the norm.Even if Granger is not challenged, whoever secures the Chairman of the party is likely to be groomed as his successor and the party’s next Presidential Candidate.Many feel that the AFC’s decision to renegotiate the terms of the Cummingsburg Accord could result in it wrestling away more political and executive power from the PNC and they blame President Granger for not being more inflexible and assertive in order to safeguard the interests of the PNC.