PPP to select Presidential candidate via secret ballot
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will be selecting its Presidential candidate by way of secret ballot.
This was revealed by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo following a meeting with Party executives at Freedom House on Thursday.
“I suggested it and the ExCo (Executive Committee) agreed to secret ballot,” Jagdeo told reporters outside of Freedom House located on Robb Street, Georgetown.
The Opposition Leader, however, did not disclose the number of candidates being looked at.
He said the process, which is being used after many years, is as a result of a lack of consensus on the candidate.
“We had consensus all the way through from the beginning. We’ve never had to resort to balloting before,” he told the media.
He noted that in 1997, Mrs. Janet Jagan was unilaterally supported and in 2001 and 2006 there was consensus.
Jagdeo pointed out that in 2011, several candidates were initially put forward but three of them withdrew their nominations ahead of the voting process.
Those persons were Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira; former General Secretary at that time, Clement Rohee and former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran who is now fronting his own political party.
In 2015, no one challenged Donald Ramotar.
The persons touted for the position this round are Members of Parliament, Dr. Frank Anthony, Irfaan Ali, Anil Nandlall and Gail Teixeira. PPP Member, Charles Ramson Junior has also publicly expressed an interest in the post.
Jagdeo said he is inclined to support one candidate but his support can change after presentations are made during the coming weeks.
Some have speculated that his nominee is Irfaan Ali, who is the former Minister of Housing and current Shadow Finance Minister for the Opposition.
The selection process Jagdeo said, however, will be completed by the end of January 2019.
“As you know, the elections have to be held in March and if you take away a month for nomination day, then we’re in mid-February, we have to be able to submit our candidates, a list of candidates for the elections, so we have to complete the process long before that,” the Opposition Leader told the media.
Describing the discussions as productive, the Opposition Leader said the next meeting is set for next week.
At his last press conference on Monday, Jagdeo said the new Presidential candidate will not be a “newbie” as that person needs to have significant experience in the Cabinet in order to function in his/her new position.