…as Ramotar steps down
By Dwijendra Rooplall and Abena Rockcliffe
President Donald Ramotar yesterday handed over the proverbial baton to Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, as he made an announcement to the effect that he has stepped down as General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and is placing full confidence in his successor.
Ramotar, who served as General Secretary since 1997, said yesterday that the People’s Progressive Party needs someone at the helm who could dedicate more time to the party, while he (Ramotar) places greater attention to running the country.
During a Press conference that was called specifically to make the announcement, Ramotar stated that working in both capacities as President and General Secretary had become too much.
“The task of managing the party had become extremely overwhelming in many cases and it has caused me not to able to give all the attention and all that I wanted to give to the party to ensure that it remains strong and vibrant and ready to take on any challenges that would be ahead of us in the future, whether distant or in the near future, but we need to ensure that we have more stronger focus on party’s work.” Ramotar stated. “
As such, the decision was made by the President to nominate Rohee for the position of General Secretary. That nomination was unanimously corroborated by the new Central Committee.
Ramotar expressed his confidence in Rohee as the General Secretary asserting that the position is in “very capable hands.”
Rohee addressing the gathering as the new General Secretary of the party expressed his humility towards attaining the position. He said it was a huge responsibility and the task would not be easy. He noted that he sees the need for continued team effort.
“The main task therefore is to ensure that the mood that we experienced at our council is translated into day to day work in our party and make sure our members are always in touch with us and we in touch with them as we continue this exciting path to victory as always been the case,” He explained.
When asked whether he (Rohee) would be continuing within his capacity as Home Affairs Minister as well as General Secretary—given the demands of the security sector, he responded “that is something that we will obviously have to look at sometime down the road.”
It was then questioned as to a general time frame for him to demit office. But no specific answer was given as Rohee said that that is to be decided by the president. And the President’s response being “We will set our own time frame.”
Yesterday saw the first leadership meeting since the August 2-4 party Congress.
At that meeting, the Central Committee also elected a new Secretariat: – Executive and Organizing Secretary – Zulficar Mustapha; Membership – Clement Rohee; Propaganda – Kellawan Lall; International – Gail Teixeira; Finance – Irfaan Ali; Trade Union – Komal Chand; Education – Hydar Ally and Mass Organization – Dharamkumar Seeraj. Kellawan Lall was elected Editor of the Party’s Organ, the Thunder.”
And a new Executive Committee of Full and candidate members was chosen, those being: Full Members: Donald Ramotar, Dr. Roger Luncheon, Zulficar Mustapha, Gail Teixeira, Alli Baksh, Bharrat Jagdeo, Sherri Ramsaran, Mohammed Irfaan Ali, Navin Chandarpal, Komal Chand, Robert Persaud, Frank Anthony, Clinton Collymore, Pauline Sukhai and Kellawan Lall.
The Three Candidate Members are: Shyam Nokta, Neil Kumar and Dharamkumar Seeraj.
Rohee is the fourth General Secretary of the PPP/C. His predecessors, in the order which they served, are former presidents Janet Jagan, Cheddi Jagan and current President Donald Ramotar.
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