By Devina Samaroo
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee, erupted in anger during his party’s press conference yesterday as he once again rejected rumours of an immense power struggle within the PPP, following the publication of an article exposing an apparent “major clash” among the party leadership over who will be the next presidential candidate.
Rohee contended that robust debates are encouraged on a variety of issues and therefore such internal deliberations should not be considered “infighting”, as was reported by Stabroek News on Monday under the headline “PPP executives jockeying for top position.”
The General Secretary said he is disgusted with the “misleading” story which is riddled with pure conjecture:
“If this is what the Stabroek News interprets as ‘infighting’ then, they can’t be helped since they chose to stay in their own echo chamber believing they have latched onto something when in fact it is sheer gossip, conjecture and rumour,” he stated.
The article stated that there was a rift among senior executives over who should be the presidential candidate for the next General and Regional Elections, with the information credited to a “source”; with some members rooting for former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali while others are backing former Culture Youth and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony.
The article also pointed out that former President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has his mind set on serving a third term as president after former Chief Justice Ian Chang (AG) ruled that the two-term presidential term-limit is unconstitutional.
It is also rumoured that Rohee has presidential aspirations; however when prompted on this during the press conference, the General Secretary refused to comment.
According to the Party’s Constitution, a General Congress is to be held this year during which party members will be afforded the opportunity to discuss a number of issues as well as nominate and elect new leaders.
However, there has been no word yet on a date for the congress and reports suggest that the gathering will be postponed owing to the alleged internal conflicts.
Nonetheless, Rohee maintained that the PPP has always been and will always be a strong and united political force.
He argued that rumours of this nature are certainly not new and the peddling of such misinformation is being done for mischievous reasons.
In this regard, the General Secretary declared that the media “behaves like a stray dog going by the smell of things, and rummaging the Freedom House neighbourhood for new (or old) juicy inaccuracies and speculations.”