The PPP’s Central Committee has agreed to postpone holding its constitutionally due Congress to focus on the upcoming elections, a decision which party stalwart Moses Nagamootoo feels has robbed the party’s membership of the opportunity to endorse or review the candidacy of Donald Ramotar.
The party’s Central Committee, according to a press release, met on Saturday and unanimously approved a motion to postpone the holding of its 30th Congress in order to focus its full attention on elections.
When contacted, Nagamootoo, a member of the Central Committee, said that it was not unusual for the Congress to be postponed under such circumstances and said that this had been done several times before. He said, however, that a golden opportunity may have missed by not having a Congress at this time.
“It would have been to the great joy of the members of the party if they were given a chance at the Congress to endorse the presidential choice or alternatively to review it. Nothing would have given the members more joy,” he said. Nagamootoo said that while some may argue that this was done at the three County Conferences held after Ramotar’s selection as presidential candidate, these conferences cannot be compared to a Congress. The Congress, he stated, could also be an opportunity for the rallying of the foot soldiers in the party.
Nagamootoo said that he did not attend Saturday’s sitting because he felt that the leadership of the party had betrayed the members by taking away their democratic rights. Nagamootoo, who had aspirations of being the party’s presidential candidate, had called for the presidential candidate to be selected by an open democratic system where the ordinary members of the party could decide on who will lead the party into the upcoming elections.
Questioned about whether he would be campaigning for the PPP, Nagamootoo said that this was a different matter entirely but did not elaborate on this.
Ramotar, in response to Nagamootoo’s statements, during a brief telephone interview said that while it may have been nice to get the support of a Congress, hosting it at this time would distract from the general elections. He said that to organize a Congress would require an entire mobilization unit which would definitely take a toll on the party’s human resources. In the absence of the Congress, Ramotar said that the unanimous support received at the various county conferences was just as good.
Meanwhile, another party stalwart and member of the Central Committee Navin Chandarpal said that whenever there is an election and a congress is due whether at the party level or at the level of the, Progressive Youth Organization (PYO), or the Women’s Progressive Organization (WPO), these congresses tend to be postponed until after elections. Chandarpal explained that the Congress is constitutionally due right about now. Accord-ing to him, in the past when the Congress was postponed it “flipped” by about 6 or 9 months but never more than a year. He said that the Congress could easily be held early next year, depending on the timing of the elections.