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PPP wants Civic members to do more

In the face of a rusty political machinery among ordinary people, the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) also wants its Civic component to become more involved in political work.

That was one of the recommendations of the committee that discussed Party Organising at the 30th PPP Congress that entered its penultimate day on Saturday at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School, Port Mourant, East Berbice.

Reporting on the deliberations and recommendations of that committee, Nigel Dharamlall said the Civic component must be more responsive to party comrades who visit their offices to seek their assistance.

The PPP also wants civic leaders to be trained in the PPP’s principles and ideology. Late PPP co-founder, Dr. Cheddi Jagan had established the Civic component just before the 1992 general election to attract committed professionals, entrepreneurs and other persons who had wanted to work with the PPP but had not been interested in party membership.

The Party Organising Committee also reported that party leaders needed to be more visible because of their relative absence of party leaders on the ground, a situation that could be rectified by more planned visits and decisions and actions taken.

Dharamlall cited the “dysfunctional nature of the party structure” such as non-functioning and dormant groups.  The party cited the need to build an office in the Moruca Sub District.

Recommendations to fix organizational and mobilization problems, the group said, should also include more house-to-house visits, use of party elders and engaging persons through street corner and bottom house meetings as well as ideological training.

Other areas cited for urgent action included the provision of specific services by Freedom House, the PPP’s headquarters, engaging in more propaganda work by distributing the Mirror newspaper and using Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter to target youths. Also recommended was the need for feedback and verification mechanisms. The Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), it was suggested, should engage in training and establish pioneer groups.

President Donald Ramotar, in brief remarks after group reports were presented, did not object to any of the observations and recommendations, but pledged that the new Central Committee would make every effort to implement them.

“The important thing for now is to implementation of these decisions not only at the Central Committee but also at the level o the groups,” he said.

Specifically addressing concerns about grassroots contact, he said the Central Committee would soon engage in outreaches similar to Cabinet outreaches that had been held by his predecessor Bharrat Jagdeo. “We will hold central committee meetings in different areas so they will know of the things that are taking place,” he said, adding that more programmatic work would be done.

He welcomed the outspoken nature of many delegates who outlined reasons at the level of GECOM and the party that had contributed to the PPP losing its parliamentary majority in the 2011 general election.

The PPP holds 32 seats, Alliance For Change (AFC) seven and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) 26.