The Central Committee is the only body authorized in the PPP to decide on the presidential candidate

Dear Editor,

Mr M Maxwell lacks comprehension. See his letter in SN of 31.12.2010 (‘Democratic centralism gets the last laugh’). I explained in my recent letter on the issue of a secret ballot for the choosing of the PPP presidential candidate by the Central Committee (which Mr Maxwell apparently confuses with the Executive Committee, a lower body which is elected by the Central Committee) that in all three previous decisions of the Central Committee there was only one nominee and each nominee, as is the practice in every organization, approved the nominee by acclamation without a vote (‘The PPP has always conducted contested elections by secret ballot’ SN, December 24, 2010).

Which part of this simple statement did Mr Maxwell not understand when he incoherently concludes in his letter and in the process grossly misinterpreting me that: “Mr Ramkarran’s call for a secret ballot by the PPP Executive Committee (EC) to elect the party’s presidential candidate is a gigantic problem for him. For Mr Ramkarran participated in the previous processes where selections were made without voting and definitely without secret balloting. Mr Ramkarran wrote that the PPP EC met in August 1997 and chose Janet Jagan as the candidate after considering many names. I suspect this very same process was repeated for President Jagdeo. Mr Ramkarran has produced no evidence of secret ballots nor any ballots being conducted during any of the previous selections, including that of Cheddi Jagan. This is unequivocal proof that the PPP has always used a completely undemocratic process since 1992 to select its presidential candidate. A cabal of 15 members makes this decision without a vote. Mr Ramkarran willingly participated in this wanton autocracy. With the blood-spilling currently going on for the ultimate prize and many within that infamous committee wanting that prize, the authoritarian process will not change. Not now when some can benefit from that history of autocracy. Looks like the old joke called democratic centralism gets the last laugh.”

The Central Committee is the only constitutionally constituted body authorized to decide on the presidential candidate. The Executive Committee may discuss the matter beforehand and usually does. It may do so again.

Yours faithfully,

Ralph Ramkarran



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