PPP Congress to gauge members on elections failure, opposition collaboration

The 30th PPP Congress will provide a venue for members to discuss the party’s failures at the 2011 elections and governing with the opposition, Congress Committee Chairman Clement Rohee said yesterday.

“Each member will have a copy of the Central Committee report and after the General Secretary finishes reading the report… they will then—the next morning, the Saturday morning, will go into workshops—go in to greater detail,” Rohee told a news conference.

The Congress will be held from August 2 to August 4 at Port Mourant under the theme ‘Strengthen the Party, Build Unity, Advance Democracy.’

Rohee mentioned five of the workshops are intended to evaluate members’ feelings about the direction of the party and the current political situation and he noted that this would be a venue for members to discuss and raise issues on working with the opposition and if that was a more realistic possibility given the current parliamentary makeup.

Rohee said that the various party groups throughout Guyana had not finished submitting proposed resolutions.

He noted that “we are preparing the programme in such a way to stimulate discussions by members [and] delegation observers.” He said that he would not enter a “realm of speculation” in response to critics and former party members, who claim that the party is heading into the Congress divided.

Instead, Rohee noted that after the PPP/C lost its parliamentary majority constructive criticism from within the party was encouraged.

He added that the parliament and elections workshops would tackle the party’s preparedness if a general election was announced. Rohee said that workshops aimed at understanding the party in its entirety and one to compare Guyana’s policies to similar international strategies would directly deal with the party’s failures in losing its majority government status in 2011.

Prior to the 2011 general elections, the PPP/C held 36 seats in the 65 seat National Assembly. It now holds 32 seats, after losing the majority for the first time in 20 years.

Rohee said that a majority win in the next election could happen but he added that it “is something we have to work very, very hard…we already started evaluating the mistakes that we made, the errors.” He added that “we always, according to the song, ready for the road”

Rohee explained that while these workshops were being conducted, by the end of the 30th congress the recommendations would be brought forth and the entire plenary would then discuss the way forward, allowing for all party members to share their views.

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