Weeks after newly elected Georgetown City Councillor, Winston Harding, took his Oath of Office despite concerns from child rights group about past allegations of child molestation, the People’s National Congress has addressed the matter.
The PNC recently held a general council meeting and the issue came up for discussion. The President who is the Leader of the PNC said the party from which Mr. Harding hails, the People’s National Congress Reform, is satisfied that he was not convicted and retained the confidence of the members of his constituency.
Harding won his Constituency by a landslide despite the move by the APNU to withdraw its support of him. The PNC is the largest party in the APNU.
He was sworn in as a Councillor in the middle of debates and calls from a number of groups for him to be removed from the Council.
But President Granger said the Central Executive Committee of the PNC is satisfied with the explanation given by Minister Volda Lawrence as it relates to him being chosen as a candidate.
He indicated no that there were objections to the Party’s support of Harding. The Minister who had also come under fire for defending Harding reportedly explained that the man was not soiled with a conviction and enjoyed the confidence of the members of his community despite the allegations.
According to the Laws of Guyana, a Councillor could only be removed by death or resignation, once elected to serve a three-year term. Speaking to News Source just after taking the oath of office, Mr. Harding remained adamant that he was not going to leave his council seat behind.
“No, I have no intentions of doing such”, he said, when asked by News Source if he intended to step down from the council seat. He said he has never been asked by the coalition to resign and he does not see any move requesting his resignation from office as a City Councillor.
Mr. Harding said his focus now is to represent the citizens of his community and the rest of Georgetown. Harding was accused of sexually assaulting a child back in 2001 but the case was thrown out of the court over lack of evidence.
There have been other accusations leveled against him but those accusations have never found their way into the court system. He had accused his sister of fabricating the accusations over a family disagreement. Residents of East and West Ruimveldt have indicated that they never believed the accusations and remain supportive of their representative.