The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday confirmed that former President Bharrat Jagdeo would be Opposition Leader, with his name being among the 32 persons identified to take up their seats in the National Assembly.
Based on the PPP’s statement, it appears that the Civic component has been dropped and the party would be going it alone in the opposotion benches as had been the case up to 1992.
Former President Donald Ramotar, former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, former Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh and former Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud are not among those extracted from the PPP’s list of candidates to sit in the 65-seat legislature. By excluding her name, the PPP has confirmed that its Prime Ministerial candidate Ambassador Elisabeth Harper would not be sitting in the legislature.
Among the new faces on the PPP’s benches is Africo Selman, up to recently a member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) which is the major partner in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
The PPP has also opted to select several persons who have had brushes with the court of public opinion in recent times. They are former Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer Westford, former Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, former Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs Nigel Dharamlall and Jagdeo.
Westford was the subject of a police investigation into the sale and attempted transfer of several government vehicles to herself, her paramour and a number of other persons. Police said Westford assisted police in facilitating the return of the vehicles. Ramsaran was relieved of ministerial duties shortly before the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections amid mounting pressure for insults he had hurled connected to female rights activist Sherlena Nageer at Whim during a court appearance of Jagdeo to answer a private criminal charge for allegedly uttering racially divisive remarks at Babu John, Port Mourant in March 2015. Nandlall has been cited for uttering remarks in a private telephone conversation with Kaieteur News newspaper reporter, Leonard Gildharie, that were interpreted to mean that the former Attorney General had knowledge of plans by armed persons to attack the newspaper because it had been publishing articles that were highly critical of the government and certain persons. Ramsammy had been long fingered by evidence tendered in a New York court that he had played a key role in acquiring sophisticated cellular call interception and location equipment allegedly for use by now convicted drug lord Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan to help track down heavily armed criminals that had been wreaking havoc. Dharamlall had been heard on an audio recording telling Amerindians that they would have been unwelcomed to his office if they had if supported a United Nations Development Project (UNDP)–funded Community Development Project(CDP).
Despite those shortcomings, the PPP said it made the best choice to represent its supporters. “It represents a list of persons who have the capabilities of representing all Guyanese more particularly, the over 200,000 persons who voted for the Party. A number of new faces are expected to be heading for the National Assembly with a good blend of youth and experienced Parliamentarians,” said the PPP in a statement.
The PPP offered no explanation for the absence of Ramotar, Hinds and Harper from the line-up but made a special effort to include direct comments by Dr. Singh and Rodrigues-Birkett “to avoid any speculations.”
Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett said the following to the Party,“… I have decided to do some work overseas that will take me out of Guyana for extended periods and which will not allow me to do the required work of a Member of Parliament at this time. My new engagement doesn’t take away from my commitment to the Party.’’
Dr. Ashni Singh in his statement said, ‘’…I wish to thank the leadership of the PPP/C for inviting me to take up a seat among its 32 Members of Parliament, and for accommodating my reasons for declining that offer. As I explained, my personal and other commitments would make it difficult for me to discharge the obligations of a PPP/C MP in the manner I would like to at the current time. I remain firmly committed to the PPP/C, and I continue to be available to be of service to the Party in other capacities’’.
|Electoral District||Name of Candidate extracted|
CROAL, COLLIN DAVID
|3||ALI MOHAMED IRFAAN|
|4||PERSAUD GILLIAN ROSEMARIE|
|5||MANICKCHAND PRIYA DEVI|
|6||MAHADEO VISHWA DEVA BUDHRAM|
|7||WESTFORD JENNIFER REGINALDA ANN|
|9||CHARLIE ALISTER SATURNIUS|
NATIONAL TOP UP
|#||Name of Candidate extracted|
|1||ANAMAYAH ADRIAN VENKATASUMA|
|2||ANTHONY FRANK CHRISTOPHER
|4||DHARAMLALL NIGEL DEONARINE|
|5||EDGHILL JUAN ANTHONY|
|6||HAMILTON JOSEPH LINDEN
|7||JAGAN CLIVE RAMESH|
|11||PERSAUD VINDHYA VASINI
|12||RAMSARAN BHERI SYGMOND|
|13||RAMSON CHARLES SHIVA|
|14||ROHEE CLEMENT JAMES|
|16||SELMAN AFRICO ARCHIBALD|
|17||SUKHAI PAULINE ROSE ANN|
|19||RAMSAMMY LESLIE SATRUKEN|