…satisfied with Congress preparations, processBy Michael YoungeLongstanding People’s National Congress Reform Executive Member Thandi McAllister on Tuesday vowed to strengthen her party while working to advance the interests of women and youth across the country by focusing on the implementation of socio-economic policies that would lead to their overall empowerment, should she become the party’s next Vice Chairman at its upcoming Congress.Thandi McAllisterMcAllister, speaking with the Guyana Times during an interview, said she believes she has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge over the past two decades to function effectively as that party’s next Vice Chairperson, having served her party at various levels.“I have come through the ranks. I have served”, she stated, while explaining that she is not just merely interested in clinching the nod from the delegates to serve as the party’s VC, but is more concerned about continuing the rich legacy of the PNC/R and its founding principles.“I want to make a meaningful contribution to the formulation of party policies which will eventually impact national policy,” the 36-year-old Maritime attorney-at-law explained during the interview.Asked if she were selected to serve what she would do differently, McAllister insisted that it wasn’t about changing the way things are done if there is no need to at the moment, but moreso ensuring that there is continuity of the work of the Office of Vice Chairman of the PNC/R.She admitted that she has seen party delegates and other party members since accepting the nomination to vie for the post of PNC/R VC. So far, McAllister confirmed, there have been meetings and engagements held with representatives from Regions Three and Six.The PNC/R Executive also explained that other engagements are scheduled to take place in Regions Two, Four Seven and Nine.“I have been meeting the delegates. We have been engaging them on a number of matters. I intend to continue these meetings,” McAllister noted.Questioned as to whether she was concerned that there were other experienced candidates who might receive the nod ahead of her, the lawyer responded in the negative. She insisted that the PNC/R Congress was about democracy and respecting the right of all financial members to run for high office in order to serve if they were nominated.“This is not a divisive race; this is about party democracy, and the election of office bearers will reflect the truly democratic nature of the PNC/R as a political party. Competition is nothing new within the PNC”, she remarked.She accepted that running for the post requires hard work, but explained that she is excited and upbeat throughout the experience because the support from delegates has been overwhelming.“I think that I have gathered support from the base, and that’s important”, she confessed.McAllister joined the PNC in 1994 at the age of 12. She commenced participating in the activities of the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) in the village of Uitvlugt, WCD, and in 1996 secured membership of the now PNCR as a member of the GYSM, serving the GYSM as National Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. She is currently the CEC Representative of Region 3.Soon after accepting the nomination to run for VC, she said in a social media post, “I am both humbled and honoured that its membership has expressed confidence in my ability to function as a Vice Chairperson”.McAllister graduated as valedictorian at International Maritime Administration’s (IMO) International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). McAllister is a Legal Officer attached to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD). The class of 2017-2018 comprised students from 41 different countries.When it comes to Vice Chairmanship, there are seven other nominees. They are Volda Lawrence, Joseph Harmon, Dr George Norton, Annette Ferguson, James Bond, Winston Felix, and overseas-based Cosbert Roberts. The PNC’s Biennial Delegates Congress to elect a new Chairperson is slated for August 17-19, 2018.