Jan 21, 2016 News
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has denied reports that there is a rift between himself and the
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee. Speaking during a press conference at Freedom House yesterday, he declared his “full confidence” in Rohee.
Jagdeo’s denials follow on the heels of reports that a plot had been hatched within the confines of the party to have Rohee replaced with PPP MP and former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali. This information was supplied by sources close to the hierarchy of the party.
“I have full confidence in Clement Rohee,” Jagdeo said. “(He) is a valuable member of our party. He is our General Secretary and the PPP is united.”
The former Head of State went on to dismiss the talk about himself being in favour of Ali, considered to be a close ally of Jagdeo. He described this as “generated scandals and conspiracies”. These were being generated to suit the personal agenda of an unnamed individual, he said.
He also stated that the party had become thick-skinned to these allegations, as similar claims have surfaced over the years.
“I know why this is being generated at this time,” he said. “And it has something to do (more) with a private motive than anything else, but it’s not true.”
Rohee was questioned on Monday last about his knowledge of a desire to have him removed. The General Secretary had claimed ignorance of the plot at that time. Stating that he “does not know about that,” he had asked for the names of the participants in the plot and the source of the information.
“Maybe you can speak to me on a one on one basis,” Rohee had said. “I have no idea about that (plot) but
would be happy to hear further information.”
Kaieteur News was made to understand that Jagdeo is known as the one who usually has the last say in any major decision made at the highest level of the party. Since Rohee’s elevation to the position of General Secretary in 2013, speculation has been rife that he had an eye on the position of Leader of the Opposition.
He has also been asked the question on several occasions, whether he was interested in the top job or not. He has even been in the running to get the party nod as the PPP presidential candidate.
Sources say that Jagdeo has not been seeing ‘eye to eye’ with Rohee, but while he does not want to be General Secretary himself at this time, he prefers Ali to be appointed to the position.
Contacted on Tuesday, Ali was asked whether he would accept the position as General Secretary if it was put to him. Ali’s response was, “Do not put it to me.”
He had also denied any knowledge of a plot to remove Rohee and stated that he would not have any part in that plot.
Rohee is one of the oldest surviving party stalwarts. He served the PPP Government as a Minister of Foreign Trade and as a Minister of Home Affairs.
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