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Probe likely into campaigning for PPP Central Committee elections

A section of delegates and observers at the PPP’s Congress.

Former General Secretary of the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Donald Ramotar said a probe could be conducted into open campaigning for elections to the 35-member Central Committee at the recently concluded party congress.

“I don’t have any concrete information but that will be the responsibility of this new body to set up. The new General Secretary will determine when he has all the information in front of him if such a course should be necessary,” he said.

Ramotar, who said he stepped down from the post of General Secretary on Monday to give exclusive attention to presidential duties, confirmed that he had written to delegates of the 30th Congress, urging an end to campaigns for certain persons to be voted into the decision-making body.

“I think that people should have been elected, in my own view, according to their merit and I don’t think that we need to have campaigns as some other political organisations,” he said in apparent reference to the Peoples National Congress (PNC). He argued that PPP leaders and members are “very closely knitted” with each other.

“The idea of campaigns to me was not something healthy and that people should know their leaders and elect them according to how they see them, by merit,” said Ramotar.
The privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper on Monday quoted Ramotar’s July 29 letter as saying that a committee had been set up to probe allegations of improper conduct and those found culpable of “activities detrimental to the party will face disciplinary sanctions.”
Newly-elected PPP General Secretary said a decision on a probe would be made collectively by the 15-member Executive Committee that was elected from among the 35 Central Committee members.

Stabroek News also quoted Ramotar’s letter as saying that that the circulation of a list of proposed names for the Central Committee appeared to have been a “deliberate attempt is being made to target specific individuals some of whom are long standing members.”
The then General Secretary had asked members, who had been circulating the list, to “desist from this practice immediately” because it was both unauthorized and inconsistent with the norms of the PPP’s democracy.
Records show that there had been 1,096 eligible voters at the PPP’s Congress that was held at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School, Port Mourant, East Berbice.