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Ramotar delivers charge for regaining PPP’s parliamentary majority

President Donald Ramotar addresses the opening of the PPP’s 30th Congress at Port Mourant.

As delegates to the Peoples Progressive Party’s (PPP) 30th Congress prepare to Saturday discuss parliament and elections, President Donald Ramotar says the tattered organisational machinery that led to the party losing its parliamentary majority must be fixed.

Delivering the General Secretary’s Report at the August 2-4 event being held at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School, Port Mourant, Ramotar attributed the minority 32-seat status in the House to complacency by party faithful that victory was sure.

Enough attention, he said, was not paid to the local level.

He said the party needed to return to the days of house-to-house visits, delivering handbills and using radio and television as well as greater use of the social media to reach out to youths.

Ramotar also attributed the less than satisfactory performance at the 2011 polls to the hostile media and singled out Stabroek News and Kaieteur News.  Media coverage of former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s libel case against Freddie Kissoon, he said, was also unhelpful to the PPP’s vote-getting quest.  “The opposition also took full advantage of the libel case that was going on,” he said.

The case focusses on whether the Jagdeo administration had practiced racial discrimination in the execution of policies and decisions such as the award of lands and employment practices.

The PPP General Secretary singled out former PPP stalwarts, Moses Nagamootoo and Ralph Ramkarran, saying that their utterances have been helping to fuel criticism of the party by the opposition and the media. 

Ramotar charged delegates of the Marxist-Leninist party to engage in much more ideological education. “Political ideological work was not done in …manner. Clearly this is an area that we have to do much, much more in the period ahead of us,” he said.

While the PPP, he said, had attracted more members, enough work was not done to be more selective in attracting high quality members. “As a result, many came into our party without an appreciation of what our party really stands for,” he said. “We do not want members for members’ sake. We want and need a party of activists,” he added.

He charged every member to be an activist, organiser and leader by example – ingredients he insisted that were only possible by recruiting a higher caliber of persons.

The President also urged party groups, right up to the Central Committee, to engage in “vigorous educational programmes” to teach the PPP’s history and its scientific theory.

The PPP’s international work, according to Ramotar, has been neglected too long and could be rectified if the party re-established its contacts in the region and beyond.

PPP Executive Committee member Clement Rohee has already said that very hard work is required if the party is to regain its majority in the 65-seat House.

Citing the need for accountability, transparency and good governance, the opposition A Partnership for National Unity with its 26 seats and the Alliance For Change’s (AFC) with its seven have been cutting the National Budget for key sectors and major projects.