Days before the Caribbean Court of Justice issues a final ruling in the constitutional case of Attorney General of Guyana v Cedric Richardson, PPP General Secretary and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is assuring his party faithfuls that regardless of how the decision goes, he will still be in charge of the PPP.
The decision of the CCJ could decide whether Jagdeo, a former two term President, would be able to run again for top office. Legislation introduced and passed unanimously under his Presidency, limited the number of times someone could be elected President. While there was no challenge to the new law under Jagdeo’s watch, a man in the name of Cedric Richardson offered a challenge to the Constitutional issue as the Donald Ramotar Presidency was coming to an end.
Donald Ramotar was elected President in 2011 after Jagdeo served out his second elected term.
The Local Courts found that the change to the constitutional requirement to run for President was unconstitutional, although it received the full support of the National Assembly. It is that ruling and local appeal that is being challenged at the CCJ level.
In a statement on Saturday evening, Mr. Jagdeo reached out to his party faithful and said “multitudes of supporters of the PPP/C and even across the political divide have made contact with me. Many concerns were raised, including the public statements of those in Government in respect of a particular outcome. As a result, I am moved to publicly assure that whatever the ruling is, I am and will remain the General Secretary of the PPP.”
Jagdeo assured that as General Secretary of the PPP, he will continue to spearhead the Party’s struggle for a better life for all Guyanese, especially the working people, the poor and the under-privileged, for racial and national unity and for victory at the polls at the next Local Government, Regional and National Elections.
“Unlike the 2011-2015 period, where I played no formal part in the PPP Administration, I intend to be a formal part of the next PPP government as we resume the implementation of plans to build a better country of which all our people can feel proud”, Jagdeo said as he addressed the possibility of the PPP returning to Government in 2020.
There continues to be some quiet objections to Jagdeo’s style of Leadership within his party. He has publicly said many of the party’s longstanding members will need to start shifting down to create space for newer thinkers in the party. Those statements have been seen as a clear indication that he intends to rid the party of many of its longstanding members as it prepares to contest elections in 2020.
“Ours is a Party not built on personalities but on policies, all designed to create a better life for our people, and forge racial, ethnic and class unity. I remain committed to these policies and causes and will continue to struggle with the Party to achieve them”, Jagdeo said.