A number of persons have been shortlisted as possible candidates to become the PPP/C’s prime ministerial candidate, the party’s presidential candidate Donald Ramotar recently disclosed.
“We have a group of persons, but I won’t want to comment on that now until we’ve come to a conclusion,” Ramotar said in response to a question during a press briefing on Thursday. The group, he said, includes members from both the PPP and the party’s civic grouping. Both women and men have been shortlisted, he added.
Names such as Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, Transport Minister Robeson Benn and Public Service Minister Dr Jennifer Westford are believed to be among those shortlisted. In June, Ramotar told reporters that whoever would be the party’s prime ministerial candidate would come from the Civic group.
Ramotar also said that the PPP/C is working towards a formal launch of its campaign within the next month and indicated that the party’s manifesto should be out by the end of this month. He said that the party is ready to move into “the next gear” as soon as possible.
“We are ready for the elections,” Ramotar said. “Our preparations are going very, very well at this point in time. We have had over the short period of time over 400 community/bottom house/community meetings throughout the length and breadth of the country. In response to a question, he rejected assertions from the AFC presidential candidate Khemraj Ramjatan and others that the PPP/C was using bottom house meetings to campaign on the basis of race.
“We do not have, unlike Mr. Ramjattan and other people in the AFC we do not have separate messages for separate communities in this country,” Ramotar said. “We have one single message and that is trying to work for national unity in our country and for general progress so that all our people can benefit from them,” he added.
Ramotar subsequently said that he was optimistic that his party will perform well at the upcoming elections and said he would get “far over 50 percent of the votes”.
“I think the PPP/Civic government has performed so well over the past…that only PPP haters will not see progress that we have made and only the PPP haters keep continuing burying their heads in the sand and not seeing the crossover votes that we’ve been getting from 1992 to now,” Ramotar said. He said that the party made substantial progress in every region of the country.