A surprising outcome from last month’s PPP Congress was the failure of Attorney-General Anil Nandlall to secure a seat on the Executive Committee after doing very well at elections for the Central Committee, says former PPP stalwart Ralph Ramkarran who posited that Nandlall lost because a negative campaign was mounted against him.
“Mr. Nandlall is a rising star, was first elected to the Central Committee in 2006, has paid his dues and is popular. The only reason he lost was because a negative campaign was mounted against him. He was surpassed by new entrants to the Central Committee who were elected to the Executive Committee, which has been hitherto unheard of and the promotion of returning figures. This was obviously engineered to keep him out,” Ramkarran wrote in a column published in the Sunday Stabroek today.
Ramkarran who quit the party in his 50th year of membership in a row over what he said was serious corruption in the country, said that it is ironic that President Donald Ramotar cautioned against campaigning against former President Bharrat Jagdeo “when negative campaigning against me at the 2008 Congress was defended after it was raised by Mrs (Janet) Jagan at the first Central Committee meeting after the 2008 Congress.”
He said that Ramotar, forgetting the contrived defence of negative campaigning in 2008, sought to protect Jagdeo. “But he omitted to come to the aid of the most active and articulate defender of himself and his government even though he would have known that some members of the leadership were gunning for his friend,” he observed.
“It would be very difficult if not impossible in the near future for Mr. Nandlall to overcome his powerful opponents, if at all, without backing from influential leaders, such as President Ramotar and General Secretary Rohee having regard to those arrayed against him. Since they do not appear willing to offer support, and step on the toes of the emerging, or already entrenched, factional leader, Mr. Nandlall may opt for the long haul and hope for the best. He has youth on his side,” Ramkarran added.
Ramotar came out slightly ahead of Jagdeo in voting for a new 35-member Central Committee of the PPP at its congress. Nandlall had come in fourth with 690 votes. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony had come in third with 724 votes.
The Central Committee then selected the new Executive Committee and the full candidate members and their secretariat responsibilities are; Clement Rohee, membership; Ramotar, Jagdeo, Roger Luncheon, Zulficar Mustapha, executive and organising secretary; Gail Teixeira, international; Ali Baksh, Bheri Ramsaran, Irfaan Ali, finance; Navin Chandarpal, Komal Chand, trade union; Robert Persaud, Frank Anthony, Clinton Collymore, Pauline Sukhai and Kellawan Lall in charge of party propaganda. Lall was also elected editor of the party’s organ the Thunder.