The Opposition People’s Progressive Party may find itself doing damage control in the coming days as part of its efforts to support its Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali.
There has been a firestorm of criticism on social media about the party’s central committee election of Ali to lead the PPP into the next elections. Many of the party’s own supporters appeared surprised and taken aback by the choice and did not hide their feelings and thoughts.
Alexie Ramotar who is the son of former President and PPP Executive Member Donald Ramotar, declared on his Facebook page that the “PPP really stchupidy”.
On the page of former Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, one supporter, Caroline Lall wrote “No way!”, in response to Manickchand congratulating Ali on being chosen. Lall continued that “I’m not voting! Try deh again PPP, you just lose my entire family vote! I had hopes it would’ve been Dr. Frank or Mr. Anil.. Wrong Move! The citizen of Guyana should’ve had a saying in selecting the candidate..You people should re-elect”, she pleaded.
On the PPP’s own social media page, the criticism outweighed the congratulations.
Under a video message from the new Presidential Candidate, Ray Saywack told the PPP to “Remember today well PPP for this is the day you lost the election. This man does not have the ability to mobilize the base much less bring in new votes, something you desperately need. He is uninspiring in every sense of the word and today’s decision will almost certainly seal the party’s fate and that of the county at the next polls. Not too late to rethink it and actually listen to what YOUR supporters want versus your own personal ambitions. This is after all how democracy works, right?”
Another person on the same thread, Bibi Ali, declared that “I will not VOTE for Irfaan, when he was minister of housing, I was pushed around to get a house lot n to date I never gotten a house lot. But he given a woman 2 house lots. Anil I would a vote for u. But Irfaan no way. PPP/C u made a wrong move by putting Irfaan in that position. Consider you all lost the election.”
But with scores of criticism and threats of staying away from the polls, there were some party supporters who attempted to calm the fury and rage.
“Guys look at it this way….I don’t like him either cause he was no good to ppl when he was in office….. but if we dont vote for him pnc will win again….think positive”, Darshan Bissesar wrote.
Others encouraged the party not to ignore the social media outcry of its supporters and to think carefully about the choice and choose someone else.
Faraaz Suliman wrote “Come on PPP/C you’ve gotta start listening to your people this isn’t what we wanted”.
“The criticism continued on the Facebook page of the Progressive Youth Organisation, which is the youth arm of the PPP.As an active voter in Guyana’s election my suggestion to the party executives as per the just concluded nomination of Irfan Ali as its presidential candidate should be revised and recalled. This decision will be best for optimum support from the masses of Guyana. The candidate choice is not in the favor of mass support and as such should be recalled while it is still early. Further, I contend that the candidate choice is not fitting to the ideals of Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s PPP who was widely respected and loved by all the people of Guyana. Should this call for reconsideration not be heeded can and most likely yield negative returns”, Karr Dyal wrote.
Another member of the same social media page, Jeewan Persaud wrote that “The Central Committee should be ashamed of themselves. How can they disrespect the majority of people in Guyana? How can the CC members allow one man to dictate the party’s direction and candidate? It’s not too late to recall this candidate.”
Just after Ali’s election, the PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and the party’s General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo convened a meeting with members of the party’s public relations team.
In a statement last evening, the party indicated that it would be standing firm behind the candidacy of Irfaan Ali.