The opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) yesterday announced that it will hold its 31st Congress in the last quarter of this year.
In a statement following a meeting of the PPP’s Central Committee (CC) on Saturday, the party said that the CC “resolved unanimously to hold its 31st Congress in the last quarter of the year (2016) in keeping with the Party’s Constitution.”
The last PPP congress was held in Berbice in August 2013 and one is due this year. How-ever, there was speculation that internal rifts would lead to a postponement. Sources close to the party say former presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar and current General Secretary (GS) Clement Rohee would be looking to gather votes at the congress and to have their supporters elected to the new CC. Sources suggest that Ramotar could well challenge Rohee for the position of GS once the congress is over while Jagdeo would be assessing the prospects of a possible run for a third term in 2020.
According to the PPP statement, “Note was also taken by the Central Committee of attempts by certain elements to sow the seeds of discord within the leadership of the party. The party reiterated its strong resolve to counter any such attempt to divide the party.” It added that the CC resolved to “exert every effort to strengthen the party organisationally, to improve party discipline as well as the unity and cohesion of its entire membership.”
Meantime, the statement said that the main highlight of the meeting was a report from Rohee which formed the basis for discussions on the way forward in terms of strengthening the party “both organisationally and ideologically, in order to deliver on its mandate to ensure a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Guyana with the PPP/C back in office.”
It said the CC emphasised “the urgency to retake political power within the shortest possible time…in order to arrest the downward trajectory in which the country is now heading.”
The CC also expressed satisfaction over the party’s performance in the recent Municipal and Local Government elections. “The Central Committee condemned the efforts by the Granger administration to undermine the democratically elected RDCs and NDCs controlled by the PPP/C and resolved to mount a more aggressive fight-back against government’s wrongdoings at the regional and national levels. The Central Committee deliberated comprehensively on ways of preserving the substantial gains for the people made by the PPP/C administration which are now being systematically eroded by the current APNU-AFC regime,” the statement said.
It added that emphasis was also placed on the need to broaden the appeal and reach of the Party with respect to significant stakeholders and the society as a whole.
“The climate of fear and insecurity which now stalk the land was seen by the Central Committee as a manifestation of the gross incompetence of the current regime to guarantee public safety and security of the Guyanese people,” the statement added.
Further, it said that the CC condemned the Granger administration for continuing its “witch-hunting and unjustifiable attacks” against PPP leaders and professionals who are perceived to be sympathetic to the PPP/C.
Further, the party expressed alarm at the state of the economy and said economic mismanagement and fiscal indiscipline was to blame. “This has resulted in a (loss) of investor confidence and the consequential inability to create new jobs for a growing youth population,” the statement said.