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PPP embarks on “broad left” electoral strategy

PPP Headquarters- Freedom House

The governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) has announced a new political strategy to attract more non-members in the hope of regaining its parliamentary majority at the next general and regional elections.

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee said the Marxist-Leninist oriented party has decided to establish a “broad left, progressive, democratic front” involving a number of categories of stakeholders including politicians and organisations from across the social and political divide. The PPP hopes the broad left model will also attract working people, farmers, intellectuals, professionals, the business community, NGOs and all Guyanese to assist in establishing a National Democratic State.

“It touches on almost every social strata of society who are desirous of playing a role in nation building so there may be people in this front who admire the idea… but they are not a member of the PPP, they are not a left-leaning person, they are just patriotic and nationalist,” Rohee told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) on Friday.

Pointing to the creation of the Reform component of the Peoples National Congress Reform and the formation of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Rohee said the “broad left” approach is part of the PPP’s plan going into the next election.

“All these are what you call electoral strategies that political parties would adopt…You have to look at politics in a very dynamic way. The political parties have to make the necessary adjustments in keeping with the new realities that are emerging in the country in order to ensure not only relevance but vibrancy and continuity,” said Rohee.

Political pundits outside the PPP say that party hopes to revive a 1970s model to confront the opposition which now controls the 65-member National Assembly by one seat. The PPP has conceded that it needs to work hard to regain its simple majority because of a younger voting population, short memories of the past under the PNC by older persons, complacency and apathy.

Rohee acknowledged that the broad left did not differ much from the Civic component of non-PPP members who wanted to make a contribution to national development.. we will be working to embrace and individuals who are prepared to commit themselves in this direction,

“It’s not very different. The only difference is that it’s a front. It’s more organised, it’s not a loose thing of people who are part of a front and committed to a programme,” he said.

For the first time in Independent Guyana, the National Assembly is controlled by the Opposition.

Government has complained bitterly that its programmes and policies are being frustrated by the opposition – APNU and Alliance For Change (AFC) – using its one seat majority to vote down aspects of the National Budget and block the enactment of certain laws.

On the other hand, the opposition says its only aim is to ensure tougher laws, accountability and transparency rather that corruption, nepotism and other forms of maladministration.