Jan 08, 2017 News
-dodges question on third term run
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, has defeated Dr. Frank Anthony for the General Secretary post – the most powerful seat of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
The elections, according to the PPP, were conducted via secret ballot at yesterday’s first Central Committee meeting following the recent congress at Cotton Field, Essequibo Coast.
Jagdeo’s victory was widely expected after he cemented his place as the party’s most popular person, securing 718 votes – 98 more than Dr. Frank Anthony at the congress.
Yesterday, it appeared that Anthony was the lone person challenging Jagdeo for the GS position.
“There were two contestants for that position: Comrade Bharrat Jagdeo and Comrade Frank Anthony. Comrade Jagdeo was elected the new General Secretary,” a statement from the party said yesterday.
The country has been paying close attention to recent congress and the elections in the Central Committee meeting. It was widely expected that Jagdeo would be eyeing the GS position as a stepping stone for a third term bid as Presidential Candidate for the party in the 2020 elections.
Former General Secretary, Clement Rohee, who was under pressure after his party lost the 2015 early elections– the first loss after 23 years– had signalled his intentions not to run for the position again.
According to the PPP yesterday, the following persons were elected as secretaries: Zulfikar Mustapha – Executive Secretary; Irfaan Ali – Finance Secretary; Anil Nandlall – Public Relations; Hydar Ally – Education; Bheri Ramsarran – International Relations; Gail Teixeira – Mass Oganisation; Rick Ramraj – Organising Secretary and Nigel Dharamlall – Trade Union.
It was agreed that new secretaries will be appointed for portfolios to be created.
Another highlight of the meeting was the election of the new Executive Committee of the Party.
The following persons were elected to the Executive Committee: Anil Nandlall – 28 votes;
Clement Rohee – 26 votes; Irfaan Ali – 25 votes; Roger Luncheon – 25 votes; Gail Teixeira -25 votes; Zulfikar Mustapha – 24 votes; Donald Ramotar -23 votes; Frank Anthony-22 votes; Neil Kumar-22 votes; Shyam Nokta-22 votes; Clinton Collymore-21 votes; Collin Croal-21 votes; Dharamkumar Seeraj- 21; Pauline Sukhai- 21; Bheri Ramsaran-20
Elected as candidate members were Vickram Bharat; Nigel Dharamlall and Fizal Jaffarally.
According to the PPP yesterday, the recently held 31st Congress at Cotton Field, Essequibo between December 17th and 19th, by any standard was the largest and most successful one held in recent times.
“Significantly, there was a commendably large presence of comrades from the hinterland regions. The attendees were from every geographic part of the country, from every ethnic grouping and from every station in life. Among the various vital decisions made, was the unanimous resolution that the party will work fervently and assiduously to resume the seat of government at the next General and Regional elections, in order to continue the task of nation building and to arrest the downward slide into which our country is descending,” the statement said.
There was talk of some changes, with the party shedding some of the older folks at last month’s congress.
However, Jagdeo’s tactical rallying call for the party to strengthen strongholds, woo Opposition supporters and depend on old stalwarts for experience, would have given him a further advantage.
Yesterday, Jagdeo said that he remains committed to the party returning to its founding principles and will place emphasis on attracting new members and remaining supportive of private sector development.
He said that the PPP will not only be looking to represent those that voted for the party, but look to open the doors of Freedom House (headquarters of the party) to all Guyanese.
Over the next three years to elections, the party will be pulling out the stops to attract women, youths and professionals, with young leaders to experience exposure.
However, the former president stopped short of committing to a third term, saying that that is an entirely different matter.
In addition to Jagdeo and Anthony, the other Central Committee members elected last month were Gail Teixeira, the party’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly, who was the only female in the top 10, coming in third with 583 votes.
Rounding off the top ten were former President Donald Ramotar with 570; former Attorney General Anil Nandlall at 548; General Secretary Clement Rohee at 522; Ganga Persaud at 512; Irfaan Ali 511; Zulfikar Mustapha at 496 and Shyam Nokta at 495.
Indra Chandarpal, who has been vocal for women’s rights, came in number 11 with 490 with former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon next at 488.
The rest for the top 20 are Paul Sukhai 460; Nigel Dharamlall 453; Dr Vindhya Persaud 439; Hydar Ally, 422; Vickram Bharrat, 408; Dharamkumar Seeraj/ 393; Komal Chand, 378; and Colin Croal at 360.
The other persons who received the nod to the Central Committee were Alister Charlie 356; Brian Allicock 326; Neil Kumar 321; David Armogan 317; Dr. Jennnifer Westford 304; Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo 289; Clinton Collymore 287; Kwame McCoy 281; Dr. Bheri Ramsaran 278; Faizal Jaffaraly 277; Majeed Hussain 267; Rickey Ramdat 260; Claire Singh 255; Anand Persaud 242 and Mitra Devi Ali at 230.
Missing from the congress was former Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud, who has reportedly migrated. He had been featuring as a top vote-getter.
Harripersaud Nokta, who had been a long-time stalwart, will not be in the Central Committee. However, his son, Shyam, is in the top 10.
The three-day congress was targeted by the party as the launch-pad to regain power in 2020 when general elections are slated.
Jagdeo in his rallying call last month, urged party members to strengthen the traditional base, and woo supporters of the Coalition to reflect an inclusionary approach.
Party leaders had painted a black picture of the coalition’s performance, with Jagdeo insisting that the administration practiced ethnic cleansing of PPP supporters from Government office.
He also singled out the recent national budget, the economy and taxes for criticisms.
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