The recently elected Chairwoman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, during her inaugural address to that party’s General Council, called on party members to expand the support base of the party as they gear into campaign mode for the 2020 General Elections.According to a statement from that Party following its last General Council for 2018, Lawrence said the time was now for the PNCR to recharge and retool its base, “…no one must be left behind. Now is not the time for armchair service; now is the time to work the ground tirelessly and dutifully.”The PNCR General Council was held on Saturday at the party’s headquarters at Congress Place, Sophia, and was chaired by Lawrence, who also extended best wishes to its Leader, President David Granger, who is currently suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is expected to return to Cuba on Tuesday for follow-up treatment.Lawrence called on party leaders to re-engage and talk to party members and supporters, even if it means that the ministers and party leaders must get out of their offices and work within the communities. She called for programmes to be put in place to ensure this happens, since their services should be people- centred.The Chairwoman called on the party to embark on a massive membership drive to broaden and strengthen its base. She said, “We must be ready to fortify grass-roots democracy by playing a greater role in local government countrywide, and by providing solutions to rural and agrarian problems. With this, the party must be totally committed to enduring equality for all, and to protecting our citizens’ fundamental rights.”The Party Chairman iterated that the PNCR remains committed to achieving national unity and improving relations with all communities and groups, the statement related.Lawrence called on all ministers of the Government and party leaders to recommit themselves to service to the people, and promised that the Coalition Government would continue to work towards delivering a good life to all Guyanese.Meanwhile, PNCR General Secretary, Social Protection Minister Amna Ally, presented her report on the scope of work the party conducted over the last quarter. The focus of her report was mainly on membership, achievements, local government elections, projections, and other related party affairs.A panel discussion was also held on Budget 2019, and included Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Lawrence, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton, and Education Minister Dr Nicolette Henry.The General Council, the second highest decision-making forum of the PNCR, meets once every quarter.While Lawrence called for unity and service to all during her maiden General Council address, she made a different comment just recently, when she told a PNCR Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) meeting that “…the only friends I got is PNC, so the only people I could give work to is PNC.”She has since received flack for her comment from all sections of society, and is yet to issue an apology or to defend the said statements. In fact, the PNCR issued a statement in which they indicated that Lawrence is committed to national unity.
“They tried this last year,” said Mattel spokeswoman Lauren Dougherty, “but Barbie is still the number one fashion theme doll for the year in the United States and worldwide.” So who is the real princess? Neither, according to Alison Marek, the managing editor of TD monthly, a specialty toy trade magazine. “As far as (my readers) are concerned, neither Bratz or Barbie is the number one doll because they don’t want their kids playing with them,” she said. “A lot of parents would prefer that their kids find something that reflects their own peer group.” But the competition is healthy. “If somebody is breathing down your neck,” Marek said, “you need to think of the next thing.” email@example.com (818) 713-3735 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Let the catfight begin. If the toy industry is one big popularity contest, Barbie and Bratz are wrestling over the queen’s crown. Both claimed Monday to be the fashionable doll that has won the hearts – and purses – of little girls. The dueling claims are the latest in a drawn-out battle between the two doll makers that has included lawsuits, counter-lawsuits and backhanded gossip about the dolls. Both Mattel, which makes Barbie, and MGA Entertainment, which makes Bratz, can say they are number one by touting different statistics from the NPD Group, a market research firm. If you look at sales from the last three months of 2006 in the United States, Bratz reigns. After trailing in Barbie’s taller, thinner shadow for years, Bratz elbowed Barbie out of the way with 34 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, said Isaac Larian, head of MGA in Van Nuys. Mattel declined to disclose Barbie’s market share for the same period. “For the whole year they were just a little bit higher than us,” Larian said. “For the past seven years we have not been able to beat them. But we finally beat them.” Larian expects Bratz’s lead to last because January sales of the dolls increased by double digits. But Bratz’s lead disappears if you step back and examine sales from the entire year. Then, Barbie is the favorite.