By Michael Younge
Preparations are underway for the upcoming Congress of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) with anticipation growing amongst its supporters of the return of Bharrat Jagdeo to the helm of the party’s structure and his possible candidature as the person who could lead the opposition force to a resounding victory at the 2020 General and Regional Elections.
Though Jagdeo has not given any firm indication that he will accept the mounting calls to serve a third term, he has not said definitely that he has not had a change of heart in his earlier position that he is “not interested in serving a third term”.
The party’s Congress will be held under the theme “Strengthen the Party; Defend Democracy; Onwards to Victory” in Essequibo.
Already party groups and organs are readying themselves to be part of the event which will be the first Congress to be held for the party after its exit of the Executive Branch of Government following its 23-year tenure.
Part of the process involves these organs selecting delegates for the Congress who will in turn cast their ballots secretly and in some cases openly for persons who would have been nominated to serve in various capacities within the party’s structure and on its 35-seat Central Executive body.
Sources close to the party say that Jagdeo, a former president and highly popular personality within the rank and file of the party, is likely to receive the most votes from the delegates to serve. Former President Donald Ramotar is also likely to secure a large portion of the votes as he did during the last Congress.
“There are other strong contenders from within the party’s rank and file that could cause an upset at the Congress and assume more authority within its structures. These persons include Irfaan Ali who is favoured amongst the youths and seen as a shining light…Priya Manickchand, Gail Teixeira, Clement Rohee and Anil Nandlall…It seems also that a new breed of party leaders not linked to the traditional dynasty will emerge”, a senior party functionary told INews today.
The Congress is to be defined by discussions surrounding the PPP/C’s style of politics while in opposition and the steps that it must take to secure an outright victory at the upcoming 2020 elections.
Focus will be placed too on the shortcomings of the new A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government with emphasis being placed on their policies and the continued impact it has on the masses and the socio-economic strength of the country.
“We will discuss everything. From our own shortcomings to reorganization of our rank and file within the party to become more effective…We must leave that Congress united around a group of leaders with Jagdeo presumably at the helm in order to regain the reins of Government”, the source remarked.
The source contended that “without disrespect to other leaders and top ranking persons in our party…the people want Jagdeo as they believe in him”.
It is likely that several of the old faces that dominated the party structure over the past decade will not be returned and a set of bright new personalities will emerge to serve with more females dominating senior roles.
The party so far has engaged on a series of fund raising exercises in the lead up to its Congress and a number of outreaches aimed at creating cohesiveness and unity within its ranks to ward off any divisions, uprisings and serious bouts of discontent at its congress scheduled for the Cotton Field Primary School during December 17 to 19.