The next PPP elections manifesto will reflect ideas submitted by citizens from across the country, party General Secretary and former President Bharrat Jagdeo says.
As such, the party has taken to social media and other platforms and will make public calls for the submission of policy ideas for the document. Persons can submit ideas to the party by email, written letters, to leaders or through the party’s many Facebook pages.
“Inclusion,” was Jagdeo’s response to Stabroek News when asked why the party has now chosen public submissions. “We believe all Guyanese should have an opportunity to craft a manifesto which we will give serious consideration to, in producing our party’s manifesto,” he said.
The PPP will also host interactive meetings on the manifesto’s plans across the country which will culminate in the capital where members of civil society and other stakeholders will gather and discuss, he said.
“…we have already made it public that we prefer a big tent approach for moving forward. We have a lot of ideas as to how to move Guyana forward. Ideas that will create thousands of new jobs, plans and policies for older folks and children, ideas to improve healthcare, education, security…” he said.
“Ultimately our policies are for our people and they must see their ideas reflected in the policy making. We want inclusion, we want people of every race to feel comfortable. Hence this widespread consultation which will see the form of people submitting their ideas. We will have…a one day meeting to bring all of the sectors together; civil society, the miners, youths, rice sector, sugar sector… a one day session discussing those ideas then our people will begin work,” he added.
Jagdeo said the decision to consider and possibly include recommendations from citizens was driven by supporters lobbying for more inclusion and “a call heard from people.”
“Now [this was chosen] because we have an opportunity and more and more persons have been approaching us. People who never supported us in the past, people who were sitting on the fence, some people who were with us and went to the coalition and are now back with us …Some people have come and they said ‘we would like not just to get an assurance that you will do well in the future but we want to help and contribute ideas and we want assurances from you that those ideas will be reflected in policy’,” he said.
Jagdeo had last week informed that a committee made up of party members would have been meeting to discuss plans on the way forward for crafting the next manifesto.
“…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 had said.
He said that list was broadened to allow for more ideas and he is sure that when the manifesto is completed, it would reflect developmental polices designed to meet the needs of the country’s citizenry and the changes globally.
The party’s presidential candidate Irfaan Ali has given a prelude to some of the policies the party plans to implement in the manifesto saying that “from year one” of his administration, over $100 billion would be invested in Guyana and 50,000 new jobs created.
“In the next PPP/C government, we will be creating more than 50,000 new jobs all across this country. We will be creating, through the use of ICT, an education platform so that people could have education via distance learning. We are going to see all through e-governance, e-education, e-health…using the electronic means to achieve growth in our country…,” he told his hometown of Leonora, at the first public meeting following his selection as the party’s presidential candidate.