Top People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) executive members Gail Teixeira and Indra Chandrapal have come out in full support of Irfaan Ali as their party’s presidential candidate.
“Irfaan Ali won a democratic process and will receive the full support of his comrades,” said Chandrapal.
On Monday night, she described Frank Anthony, who pulled out of the race last week Saturday because he realised that he could not have won, as “the epitome of decency, integrity and commitment. Never change those values. It is who you are”. However, responding to media reports, Chandrapal charged that her words were used to suggest that she condemned Ali who defeated Anil Nandlall 24-11 among the 35-member Central Committee.
Teixeira, who shared the platform with Ali and PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo at a public meeting at Leonora, West Coast Demerara on Sunday, urged her Party colleagues to focus on teamwork to win the next General Elections. “That contest is over, let us focus now on winning. l am ready to work for the PPP/C victory on or before March 19, 2019. Are you ready?,” she said.
Teixeira expressed deep confidence in Ali, saying “he will do his utmost to not only win the elections, but also to be the President who will reverse the grievous damage and hardships that the APNU-AFC Coalition government has wrecked on the lives of our people and on the nation itself.”
She said Ali “cannot do this alone; he will be surrounded and supported by the entire leadership and membership of the party, supporters and sympathizers”.
“I, for one, will be one of those leaders who will support and assist him and work in the PPP to the best of my ability to ensure that the PPP/C wins with a significant majority,” Teixeira added.
Teixeira, a Canadian citizen, said she withdrew her candidacy and voted for Ali because she realised she could not have won. “Through a democratic process the PPP Central Committee elected its Presidential Candidate and President-in-waiting. I am proud to have participated in this process,” she said.
In a congratulatory message, the PPP’s Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO) unequivocally supported Ali. “The Women’s Progressive Organisation endorses Irfaan Ali’s election as Presidential Candidate and pledges its support to ensuring that the PPP/C is returned to office to address issues affecting women, children, the elderly, youths and the fired sugar workers and to make Guyana a country that is once again free from discrimination and victimization,” the WPO said.
The WPO said Ali would be the kind of president who will serve all the people of Guyana and will continue to develop Guyana as his predecessors of the former PPP/C Government.
Jagdeo has acknowledged that all along he had supported Ali, his “friend”, because he is competent, experienced and hardworking at the level of the party, government and among the grassroots.
For his part, Ali has committed to teamwork in delivering the PPP’s promises such as the creation of jobs, investments and social sector development.
Checks with a number of senior party functionaries have revealed that while many are dissatisfied, they would in the end consolidate their support behind Ali whose academic qualifications and integrity have been called into question.
Concerns also linger about whether Ali could secure vitally needed crossover votes from other race groups.