Attorney James Bond believes now is the time for youths to take a more dominant role in the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and it is for this reason he will be contesting the Vice Chairmanship, during the party’s 19th Biennial Delegates Congress, which opened today at Congress place, Sophia, Georgetown.Bond, armed with his “Vision 2020”, told Guyana Times that youths must begin the process of preparation to take over the political reigns in the very near future, thus the impetus for his candidacy.“I believe that the Vice Chair position (in the PNCR) is the ideal position for a young person to start saying, you know what, we are ready to assume some form of leadership role within the party… So I believe that in the party hierarchy, I believe there is a place for a young person,” Bond said.The young Attorney is confident of a victory, arguing that he enjoys the support of the youths within the PNC who, he noted, encouraged him to contest. Bond remarked that “even before accepting, it was young persons who said, you know what James go-ahead and accept. we will support you.”Bond added that while nationally, youths remain the most dominant demographic, there is still not enough representation in the body politic and as such, he is urging youths to get involved in the process now, with the focus being on the country’s next General and Regional Elections set for 2020.“I think now is the ideal time for young people in all political parties to begin to position themselves… not only the PNC. Most of the persons in Government right now and in Opposition… at some point they would say they have had enough of public politics. So I believe in all the political parties, that young people should start contesting, making their presence felt,” the young politician declared.The others contesting the Vice Chairpersons positions are Volda Lawrence, Dr George Norton, Beni Rayman, Clement Corlette, Aubrey Norton, Dawn Hastings, Christopher Jones and Winston Felix who have all been nominated. Corlette and Felix have told the party of their intention to contest for the post.Ronald Bulkan, Larry London and Annette Ferguson have been nominated for the post of Treasurer; however, London has declined his nomination.Harmon pulls out of raceMeanwhile, State Minister Joseph Harmon, who was also nominated for the position has indicated a disinterest in running for the position of PNCR Vice Chairman.In a statement from the Office of the Minister of State on Thursday, he explained that his current portfolio is too demanding for him to juggle the tasks that comes with the position of PNCR Vice Chairman.Nonetheless, he said he remains “humbled” by those who nominated him to contest the position.The Returning Officer is former Assistant Police Commissioner and Attorney Michael Somersall.Already, President David Granger has been returned as party leader unopposed and Basil Williams as Chairman unopposed.Bond had in 2011 contested the PNCR’s Presidential Candidacy but managed to only muster 13 votes. The candidacy was won by current President of Guyana, David Granger.The congress which runs from August 26-28, is expected to see some 500 persons in attendance, with representatives from each of the 10 administrative regions of Guyana.As leader of the party, Granger will make his maiden address to the congress since being elected President last year.
• For full fire coverage vist the Special Section. SAN DIEGO – Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across Southern California, authorities said Thursday. If the fire was responsible for the deaths – which authorities said was not immediately certain – it would mean seven people have died in the flames that have consumed about 750 square miles and at least 1,800 homes since the weekend. Border Patrol agents on routine patrol found the bodies in an area near Barrett Junction, just east of San Diego, agency spokeswoman Gloria Chavez said. The area is near a major corridor for illegal immigrants who often walk hours or even days to cross into the country. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Authorities said they discovered the bodies Thursday afternoon but did not know how long ago the victims died. “They could have been out there a while,” said Paul Parker, a spokesman for the San Diego County medical examiner’s office. They were tentatively identified as three men and one woman. The area was burned by the Harris Fire, the same fire that claimed the life of 52-year-old Tecate man who refused to leave his house when the area was evacuated Sunday. The other two people killed directly by the wildfires also died in San Diego County. Despite the deaths, there were hopeful signs Thursday. President Bush surveyed the damage in the hard-hit community of Rancho Bernardo, where he draped his armed around a woman who had lost her home. “We want the people to know there’s a better day ahead – that today your life may look dismal, but tomorrow life’s going to be better,” said Bush, who earlier declared seven counties a major disaster area, making residents eligible for federal assistance to help them rebuild. Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted for most residential areas of San Diego and shelters emptied rapidly. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said an evacuation center at Qualcomm Stadium, which had housed as many as 10,000 people, would be closed at noon Friday. The president’s visit came just hours after rescue crews found the bodies of a married couple in the rubble of a burned home in Escondido. Like the previous death, the pair had been urged to evacuate. Neighbors told authorities they last saw the two around midnight Monday. They were reported missing sometime after that. San Diego County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday had taken a cursory look around the couple’s home and found no one inside. When the two did not turn up during the day, a search-and-rescue team was sent to the site and found one body Wednesday night and a second set of remains early Thursday. They were identified as John Christopher Bain, 58, a mortgage broker, and his wife, Victoria Fox, 55, a teacher. A relative who did not want to be identified because she was too distraught to talk to other reporters confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press, and their names matched property records for the address where they were found. Officials have reported 10 deaths connected to the fires; seven died of causes other than flames. At least 40 firefighters and 35 other people have been injured. In the Los Angeles area, fire crews worked to tamp out many wildfires, including two that burned 21 homes and were now fully contained. But the focus shifted to flames still raging in Orange and San Diego counties, particularly in rural areas near the Mexico border where more evacuation orders were issued. The total burn area across California had expanded to more than 482,000 acres – about 753 square miles. Eight Indian reservations have been damaged, with evacuation centers set up for tribal members. San Diego officials said the number of homes destroyed had risen to at least 1,470, about 400 more than previously reported. That would bring the number of homes destroyed in the seven affected counties to at least 1,800. The Santa Ana winds that had fueled the flames were all but gone by Thursday, but San Diego County remained a tinderbox. Firefighters cut fire lines around sections of the major blazes, but none of the four fires was more than 40 percent contained. More than 8,500 homes were still threatened. Towns scattered throughout the county remained on the edge of disaster, including the apple-picking region around Julian, where dozens of homes burned in 2003. Authorities also evacuated Jamul, an upscale community of about 6,000 in a hilly region about 20 miles east of San Diego. David and Brandy Hradecky, who defied evacuation orders with their daughters, said a small percentage of residents stayed in Jamul and worked with firefighters to save their neighbors’ homes. David Hradecky said he spent 2 days using his bulldozer to create firebreaks around seven homes. He said his young daughters even used 5-gallon buckets to put out hot spots and quench the thirst of farm animals that had been left behind. “Where are you going to go? They were evacuating the evacuee places. We know what to do. We took care of all the people’s houses,” said Brandy Hradecky. To the north, crews were battling a 35,000-acre fire in northern San Diego County that was burning on Palomar Mountain. Fred Daskoski, a spokesman for the state fire department, said there was no immediate threat to the mountain’s landmark observatory, which housed the world’s largest telescope when it was completed in 1908. In the Lake Arrowhead area, fire officials said 16,000 homes remained in the path of two wildfires that had destroyed more than 300 homes. Both fires remained out of control, but were being bombarded by aerial tankers and helicopters. A 23,000-acre blaze in Orange County has been declared arson. Five people in San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties have been arrested on suspicion of arson, but none has been linked to any of the major blazes, authorities said Thursday. A sixth man, Russell Lane Daves, 27, of Topock, Ariz., was shot to death by San Bernardino police Tuesday after he fled officers who approached to see if he might be trying to set a fire.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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