After 21 months of political gridlock, executives of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) signalled yesterday at its 30th congress that something has to be done to end the constant stalemate in Parliament due to the ruling party’s minority status.
Chairman of the PPP’s Region Six branch, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo during his opening remarks at the congress, being held at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School, said that it was time for the party to take back control. He noted that the current parliamentary structure was characterised by constant deadlock and was essentially non-functioning.
He labelled the opposition AFC and the APNU as “vicious predators” who aimed to destroy the developmental works such as the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion and the Specialty Hospital project.
Meanwhile, during his feature address President Donald Ramotar, also General Secretary of the PPP/C, noted that since the last Congress in 2008 the country is a vastly different place. He said that the country was far more stable and united than it was today. The President said that much has changed and that something had to be done.
There has been constant speculation that the PPP could move for snap elections in a bid to gain a parliamentary majority. However analysts have said that the party also risks a worse performance than in 2011 and this is likely a matter that the congress will deliberate on.
Meanwhile, Omar Sharif, Chairman of the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), also stated at the Port Mourant venue that after years of becoming apathetic the organization has found renewed vigour. He called on the youth to remain “vigilant and militant.”
Sharif said that the PYO has reclaimed its influence through constant door-to-door campaigning. He noted that since the 2011 general election the numbers clearly showed that the party needed to do more work on the ground. Sharif conceded that “complacency nearly pushed us into irrelevancy,” and that the PYO had to organise to battle the internal enemies in the country. His remarks appeared to be a clear reference to the party’s declining support at the last two elections.
At a recent press conference, the Chairman of the Congress Committee, Clement Rohee had said that the ruling party paid the price at the last elections for overlooking work on the ground in some areas. Asked to identify the mistakes the party made, he had said “…it was mainly the work on the ground. And this is work that we were famous for many, many years ago. This is the type of work that credited the PPP as one of the best organised parties; as a party that has its roots with the people and its connection with the people. Somehow or the other, we overlooked that in some areas. We paid a price for it. We are now working to correct that. We have done work in that respect.”
Sharif said that the youth arm had to be better organized to ensure that more votes would not be lost due to a lack of diligence on the part of the PPP/C.