A major shakeup in the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is likely when the Central Committee elections results are announced today.
The internal elections were held on Saturday following the opening ceremony of the 31st Congress of the PPP, the first congress since the Party lost the 2015 elections.
Over the years, the votes of the delegates at PPP Congress, drawn as they are, from all the regions of Guyana, offer the party the opportunity to have a democratic input in the election of their leadership corps. From all indications and polls, former President and now Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is clearly seen as the pre-eminent leader of the PPP at this stage. And his performance during the recent Budget debate simply served to confirm that role.
Dr Jagdeo, during his feature address at the opening of the Congress, alluded to the fact that these circumstances provide the opportunity for the PPP to examine its weaknesses and make changes where necessary to strengthen the Party.
The internal elections govern the selection of members for the Central Committee of the PPP as well as the candidate members (non-voting) members of the same Committee.
The Central Committee consists of 35 members along with five candidate members.
At the last PPP Congress, those who were elected to the Central Committee are Bharrat Jagdeo, Donald Ramotar, Frank Anthony, Anil Nandlall, Gail Teixeira, Navin Chandarpal, Roger Luncheon, Indra Chandarpal, Pauline Sukhai, Clement Rohee, Robert Persaud, Ganga Persaud, Bheri Ramsarran, Hydar Ally, Irfaan Ali, Komal Chand, Ali Baksh, Zulfikar Mustapha, Clinton Collymore, Jennifer Westford, Dharamkumar Seeraj, Nigel Dharamlall, Neil Kumar, Shyam Nokta, Vishwa Mahadeo, Desmond Kissoon, Fizal Jafarally, David Armagon, Omar Sharief, Mohammed Hussein, Philomena Sahoye-Shury, Brian Alicock, Kellawan Lall, Kwame Mc Coy and Chitreka Dass.
The candidate members elected were Collin Croal, Ronald Harsaywack, Ghurday Shivpersaud, Sandra Baldeo and Vickram Bharat.
However, the PPP announced last year several vacancies in the Central Committee owing to a number of factors.
The seat held by Robert Persaud was declared vacant after he resigned from the Party. Persaud had held senior portfolios in PPP/Civic Governments, including Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The seats occupied by Navin Chandarpal and Omar Sharief were also declared vacant. Chandarpal had passed away and Sharief retained a senior position at the Ministry of the Presidency under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government and resigned from the Party.
The members who filled those vacancies are: Bibi Safora Shadick, Majeed Hussain and Harrinarine Baldeo.
The Central Committee is then responsible for electing members of the Executive Committee of the Party, which consists of 15 members.
During the Congress, every delegate is eligible to vote up to 35 times for the candidates of their choice.
Leading up to the PPP Congress, there was much speculation regarding the changes at the helm of the Party.
Analysts believe that Jagdeo, a former President and highly popular personality with the rank and file of the party, will secure the most votes from the delegates to serve. Ali, Anthony, Nandlall, and Teixeira are also likely to secure a large portion of the votes.
The voting process has been completed and the counting has already commenced.
The results are expected to be declared today as the Party closes the curtains on the three-day event, which was hosted at the Cotton Field Secondary School in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), under the theme “Strengthen the Party; Defend Democracy; Onwards to Victory.”
Meanwhile, party delegates yesterday (on the second day of the congress) considered amendments to the Party’s constitution, as well as considerations of and discussion on resolutions and political declarations and amendments to the Party programme.
The delegates also participated in a workshop on the ‘International Situation’.