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Guyana's ruling party sticks with old system to select presidential candidate

Thursday, 23 September 2010 12:00 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

by Caribbean News Now Staff

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- Despite calls by Moses Nagamootoo, a long-serving member of Guyana’s ruling People Progressive Party (PPP), and several other prominent members to choose the presidential candidate by a popular vote of the grassroots supporters, the party on Wednesday announced it would be sticking to the old method.

Demerara Waves reported that the party said in a statement "the document, which was recently ratified, reinforces the party's long standing and tested procedure on the selection of presidential candidate".

It's the first time that the PPP is heading into the election-season with several members, Nagamootoo, Clement Rohee, Ralph Ramkarran, and Donald Ramoutar, who have all said they are available to become their party's next presidential candidate. It is also the first time that the PPP would be going to the polls without either of its co-founders Cheddi and Janet Jagan, whose considerable influence had helped sway members in making decisions such as this.

Against this background, Nagamootoo believes that given its competitive nature, the selection process should firstly include ordinary members rather than only PPP Executive and Central Committee members.

But the PPP, in a statement, said it was agreed on a selection procedure for its presidential candidate for the next general elections.

The procedure allows for nomination/expression of interest by interested individuals, deliberations at the level of the Executive Committee and subsequently approval by the Central Committee. The approved candidate will then be announced to the membership through conferences, said the PPP.

The more than 50-year-old party noted that the process was used in the selection of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan and Bharrat Jagdeo, the current president, to contest previous general elections.

The document outlines a code of conduct that potential candidates and their supporters must adhere to before and after the selection of the agreed candidate.
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