The Central Committee of the People’s Progressive party, on Saturday, solidified former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s position as party leader when its members elected him to the post over Dr. Frank Anthony, who is a Member of Parliament and former Government Minister.
Central Committee Member, Clement Rohee, who had been serving in the position since it was vacated by then President Donald Ramotar, withdrew himself from consideration but nominated Dr. Anthony for the spot.
Jagdeo, who served as President of Guyana for 12 years (1999-2011) was nominated by longtime party member, Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Although Jagdeo had always been a big vote getter at the party’s congress, he had never served in the position of General Secretary.
Dr. Anthony’s nominated was seconded by former President Donald Ramotar while Mr. Jagdeo’s nomination was seconded by Member of Parliament and former Minister, Irfaan Ali.
When the votes of the Central Committee were tallied, Jagdeo emerged as the General Secretary with 24 of the 35 votes. Dr. Anthony picked up the remaining 11 votes.
The election of Jagdeo to the post of General Secretary without the support of the two immediate past General Secretaries may point to the continuing division of the party.
When Donald Ramotar was beaten at the General Elections, the PPP went against putting him in Parliament as the Oppostion Leader. He would have had to go to Parliament as a regular member under Jagdeo. Mr. Ramotar opted to stay out of Parliament.
Those who voted for Dr. Frank Anthony for General Secretary of the party believed that he would have served well as the new face of the party as it prepares for elections in 2020. But Jagdeo held on to the wider support from those who worked under him when he was President and those who he are closest to, including Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Following the party’s Congress back in December, it agreed that it “will work for fervently and assiduously to resume the seat of government at the next General and Regional elections in order to continue the task of nation building and to arrest the downward slide into which our country is descending.”
Outside of the General Secretary, the PPP Central Committee also elected the following Secretaries:
1) Zulfikar Mustapha – Executive Secretary
2) Irfaan Ali – Finance Secretary
3) Anil Nandlall – Public Relations
4) Hydar Ally – Education
5) Bheri Ramsarran – International Relations
6) Gail Teixeira – Mass Oganisation
7) Rick Ramraj – Organising Secretary
8) Nigel Dharamlall – Trade Union