It was not immediately clear how many delegates voted in the party’s poll held at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School, Port Mourant.
However, Presiding Officer Mahmood Shaw said 1,097 delegates were eligible to cast ballots for the 35 Central Committee members and five candidate members. There were initially 99 candidates for the Central Committee but Ulric Ramanah and Hubert Rodney opted out of the race, Shaw told delegates.
After about 45 minutes of balloting, the boxes were sealed and taken downstairs for counting. Results are expected to be declared Sunday before the three-day congress closes.
Veteran PPP member Harripersaud Nokta declined nomination for the first time in 43 years. Fellow PPP stalwart, Gail Teixeira offered the party’s “deep appreciation” to the former Local Government Minister. “He is still fighting…We know that he would continue to be with us for many more years to come,” she said.
Shah assured that only persons bearing yellow delegate cards were allowed to vote even if they were party members. “It will have to be that yellow bilious wash card… You can object how much you want,” he said. He said there were 1,599 ballots and spoilt ballots would be replaced only by him. Delegate cards were also not issued at the last moment before voting. “You don’t have a delegate card, you will not be given one. It is time we get serious. You can’t use your party card,” said Shaw.
He explained that ballots could have been spoilt if delegates had voted for more than 35 Central Committee members or five Candidate Members.
When the 35 Central Committee members meet for the first time, they will elect 15 from among themselves to the Executive Committee which is the highest decision-making forum in between congresses.