The Central Executive Committee of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is expected to meet today (Tuesday) to commence discussions that will lead to the process by which the Party will select its next presidential candidate for the 2020 General and Regional Elections.
This was revealed during a press briefing on Monday by Party General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who said that the PPP was sticking to its promises of naming a candidate by the end of the year.
“We will try to set some timeline because we are meeting at the Party level, and we will see whether it makes sense to do it just before or just after the no-confidence motion,” he explained, noting that the 2019 Budget debate threw the PPP off a bit with their timeline.
He said that a decision on the presidential nominee would be made shortly. “And you will know our candidate. And we could very well be going to elections in the next three months, not just us,” he added, explaining that that tactic was implicit in the process.
Asked whether the charges brought against former PPP/Civic Government Ministers Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali would at all impact the decision to name either of the two, the General Secretary responded by saying, “If we allow the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change to decide who our candidates would be, they will charge every one of our potential candidates.”
Jagdeo said the coalition Government’s intention was known, because it has made it known publicly. He said, “It is a pity that people can’t hear some of the conversations in Parliament. But the venom from (Khemraj) Ramjattan and the others saying openly you cannot … don’t talk here … or else the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) will visit you next week …”
Jagdeo said he would throw his support behind anyone he found to have the ability to lead the Party to victory at the 2020 elections.
Asked again who he would support, the PPP General Secretary said, “You could ask me if I’m supporting anyone and do you think I’ll come at a press conference and say who I am supporting? I’ll discuss that there at Party circles.”
He maintained that the Party remained committed to the highest levels of transparency, accountability, and democracy as it undertook the process of selecting its next presidential nominee.
Jagdeo said the race for the candidacy was open, as this has been a longstanding practice of the PPP. But reminded that the votes mustered from the 35 Central Committee members will matter in the democratic process. The front-runner will emerge as the candidate.
There are several persons who are interested in being the Party’s top candidate including Nandlall, Ali, Gail Teixeira and Dr Frank Anthony.
Meanwhile, the no-confidence motion filed against the Government by Jagdeo last month is set to be debated on Friday.
Jagdeo had first announced the no-confidence motion on the heels of devastating losses in the Local Government Elections (LGE) for the coalition Government and went ahead to file the motion with the National Assembly on November 15, 2018.
The PPP had contended the motion was lodged based on concrete reasons upon which the Guyanese people had rejected the People’s National Congress-led coalition. It pointed to the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result of the closure of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates.
In addition, the Party referred to the various scandals that have erupted under the Administration. They include the single sourcing of the feasibility contract for the new Demerara River crossing, the single sourcing of a drug bond and the single sourcing of drug procurement contracts.
The Party further noted the numerous breaches of fiscal laws flagged by the Audit Office of Guyana in its reports, as well as the lack of accountability in the D’Urban Park Project, something even the Auditor General had to launch a special probe into.
The General Election is constitutionally due in mid-2020.