The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will be embarking on the final stage of selecting its Presidential Candidate over the weekend as the Executive Committee is expecting to cast their votes in favour of the five hopefuls.
The five candidates contesting for the position, namely: Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira; former Attorney General Anil Nandlall; former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali; former Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony; and Member of Parliament Dr Vindhya Persaud.
Last week, these candidates made their case in presentations before the Party’s Executive, and their submissions were discussed ahead of this weekend’s voting via secret ballot.
Previously, in the PPP, the presidential candidate was consensually nominated, but this time around there are more than one candidate; as such, the party resorted to using the secret ballot.
However, PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jadgeo believes that a consensus candidate would have been the more desired way forward.
Jagdeo, who is also the Opposition Leader, said, “It’s always better to have a consensus candidate, in any organisation that’s the ideal thing… [So] which party doesn’t want to have a consensus? Shouldn’t that be what you want to work towards? Is that not the best thing to do?”
Nevertheless, the Opposition Leader assured that whoever is selected among the five will receive the full support and cooperation of the other candidates going forward.
“In the presentation, every single one of the five said, ‘if I do not become the [Presidential] candidate, I will work with, and support, the other person’. They all said that explicitly. This was asked of everyone…every single one of the five said, ‘Yes, I will work for the interest of the party and support [whoever is selected]’… So that is really good for our organisation,” Jagdeo stated.
According to the Leader of the Opposition, this is particularly important since the party has a specific programme to execute when it returns to office. This includes reversing the draconian measures imposed in the mining sector by the Coalition Government; reopening the three sugar estates that were closed in 2017; and bringing in private investors to employ persons, restore benefits to pensioners and the children.
Moreover, Jagdeo said the PPP is also looking to create a “big tent” when in office, to include civil society and other stakeholders who have been approaching the party, expressing desires to work with the party. This, he added, include youths whom the APNU+AFC have seemed to abandon.
In fact, using himself as a prime example, Jagdeo pointed out that the PPP has a track record on young people in politics that is unassailable in this region. The former Head of State reminded too that more than half of his Cabinet was below the age of 40 and were managing some of the country’s critical sectors.