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Date: 20 Oct 17 10:25am
The ruling People Progressive Party (PPP), ahead of an August forum to choose new leaders for the next three years, has insisted that it remained united despite attacks, especially from former senior members who have left.It will be the first National Congress at which none of the Jagans, the party’s founders, will be around. Dr. Cheddi Jagan died in 1997, five years after taking the party to power, while his wife, Janet Jagan, passed away in March 2007.Admitting that the PPP made mistakes, and as a result lost its Parliamentary majority in the 2011 General and Regional Elections by not doing enough on the ground, Clement Rohee yesterday made it clear that his party has since regrouped and is working to correct these mistakes. There are no factions or split in the party.PPP’s PR official Romel Roopnarine, Clement Rohee and Zulficar Mustapha, during the press conference yesterday.Rohee, currently the Minister of Home Affairs, is a Central Committee member and Chairman of the party’s National Congress Committee.There were serious questions asked following the 2011 elections with senior executive stalwart Ralph Ramkarran, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, resigning from the party in July last year, reportedly citing failure by the party to address the issue of corruption.Responding to media questions of criticisms that the party has veered away from the ideals of the Jagans, Rohee said that these criticisms were coming from “certain individuals” and “detractors” and “defectors” who have left and are constantly plugging that line. The allegations are never coming from current members of the party.InfluenceThe intention, he said, is to “influence” the outcome of the upcoming congress.According to the official, the PPP has had to reinvent itself over the years, with a decision in 1992 to add the civic component. The party has never lost an election and under any free and fair system is unlikely to do so, Rohee said.Rohee even had his own “calculated” answer as who some of the detractors are. His mathematical formula to explain this was SN KN RR MN KR=0. While he challenged media operatives to “decodify” the formula, Jerseys NFL Wholesale, it was clear that it meant…Stabroek News Kaieteur News Ralph Ramkarran Moses Nagamootoo Khemraj Ramjattan=0Ralph RamkarranRamkarran, Nagamootoo and Ramjattan were all top PPP executive members who have left in recent years with the latter two being part of the Alliance For Change. All three have been critical of the party in newspaper articles. Ramkarran has a weekly column in the Stabroek News. Both Kaieteur News and Stabroek News have been accused of being part of the “Opposition media”.According to Rohee, it must be pointed out that none of “detractors” have left the party with any large number of followers.“The party still remains. The party has not split. We are going to the congress as a committed party.”There is no doubt, he said, that the PPP is under attack. As a matter of fact, there are different fora within the party that allow members who are unhappy to raise complaints …it is part of the democratic machinery at work.These fora are at the regional and district levels also where all kinds of issues are raised about bridges, roads, garbage and the functioning of the NDCs, he added.Regarding the 2011 elections, the executive member noted that there was an “electoral setback because of certain mistakes we made… We have regrouped. We have worked since elections to correct these mistakes.”The regrouping has nothing to do with what is being written by the detractors. The upcoming congress will also serve as a forum for more analyzing, he said.“The mistakes we made were on the ground.” The party, however, “somehow overlooked” what it was best known for…organization…and paid the price as a result.General SecretaryMeanwhile, it is very possible that there may be a debate over the issue of the General Secretary’s position in the party during the upcoming congress. That position, currently being viewed as the de facto leader of the party, is the most powerful one and held by President Donald Ramotar. Since the death of the party’s leader, Dr. Jagan, the General Secretary position has been viewed as the top one.Khemraj RamjattanAccording to both Rohee and Executive Secretary, Zulficar Mustapha, there is nothing stopping any moves by the delegates to make any resolutions for a new General Secretary, which could pave the way for elections for that post.  The issue would be a closely watched one with speculations rife about possible moves from the p
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