Talks could begin as early as today on a prime ministerial candidate for the PPP/C, according to party General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo.
“The People’s Progressive Party has not initiated the process of selecting a Prime Ministerial candidate,” Jagdeo yesterday said in response to questions from the Stabroek News.
However, he explained that top executives of the party will today be meeting to begin formal crafting of the next elections manifesto and the discussion on the selection of a prime ministerial candidate could come up.
“We are meeting tomorrow again, the entire committee. Lots of people are on the committee; myself Irfaan (Ali), Shyam (Nokta) …we are going to include others. It is being crafted, lots of ideas from the past manifesto and lots of ideas that we have practically settled on, like the job creation and so on,” he stated.
We have not opened up the process as yet. We don’t know how we will approach the issue. I am not sure [If or after the manifesto is completed] but all these things can be done simultaneously. It could be done simultaneously. It is for the party’s leadership to decide. A lot of these things are fluid now we had to get past this milestone of the presidential candidate first, which is essential for the process to go forward and so we dealt with that,” he added.
Asked if Ali would now take over the portfolio of Leader of the Opposition, Jagdeo said that the party had not decided on that matter but given that the party is not going back to parliament until the elections, he doubts it. “We have not decided on that. You know we are now in a shortened period of government so I doubt we will even go back to parliament,” Jagdeo said.
While a guest speaker at a meeting held yesterday at Leonora, WCD, to celebrate Irfaan Ali’s victory on Saturday in the quest to be presidential candidate, Jagdeo reminded that he had spoken to several western diplomats and missions about the December 21st No Confidence Motion in the National Assembly and made clear that elections are due constitutionally by March 19th 2019.
“They have gone to the courts. The Chief Justice has set at the end of this month (for a decision) and we are pressing for expeditious hearings. This will go to the CCJ. And once that decision is confirmed at the level of the CCJ they will have to move forward. But we have made it clear, that since the legislature has spoken, that on March 19th upcoming, a couple months from now, once you get past the date, named by our constitution, this government will become unconstitutional, illegitimate, and illegal. I have informed the international community; we have written to every international organization. I have said this to the Americans, the Canadians, the British, to the European Union. We have said the same thing to the Commonwealth. I have spoken to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, that beyond the 19th March, anything this government does; any contract it signs etcetera, the People’s Progressive Party will see it as illegal. We will not recognize it because they would have been in violation of our constitution. So the deadline is ticking,” Jagdeo said.
“They are in difficult territory right now. Knowing APNU and the track record of the PNC they will try to cling on. But it does not matter, we have to prepare whether the elections are two months or three months or four months down the line. We have to prepare to win them and win them big,” he added.