Jan­uary 22 2017 Fol­low Up: Post-Congress meet­ings and cau­cuses

Weekend Mirror - - GETTING IT RIGHT - By Eddi Rod­ney

Sub­se­quent

to the con­clu­sion of the Cot­ton Field 31st Congress of the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party, there have been a num­ber of Free­dom House meet­ings in­clud­ing that of Jan­uary 7 2017 Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in­au­gu­ral that fa­cil­i­tated the elec­tions for Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and Sec­re­tar­iat

The Cen­tral Com­mit­tee held its first meet­ing

The first meet­ing of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee Mem­bers elected at the 31st Congress took place on Satur­day, Jan­uary 7th, 2017 at Free­dom House, Ge­orge­town

At the meet­ing, elec­tions were held for the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and Sec­re­tar­iat Mem­bers.

Cde. Bhar­rat Jagdeo was elected as the Party new Gen­eral Sec­re­tary with Cde. Zul­fizar Mustapha re-elected as the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary.

Other Sec­re­taries elected were: Pub­lic Re­la­tions- Cde. Anil Nand­lall, Fi­nance Sec­re­tary- Cde. Ir­faan Ali, Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary - Cde. Hy­dar Ally, In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs - Cde. Bheri Ram­saran, Mem­ber­ship Sec­re­tary - Cde. Shyam Nokta, Mass Or­ga­ni­za­tion - Cde. Gail Teix­e­ria, Or­ga­niz­ing Sec­re­tary - Cde. Ricky Ram­raj and Trade Union Sec­re­tary - Cde. Nigel Dharam­lall.

Pre-Congress Mo­bi­liza­tion-the Bi­nary and The­matic

It is worth some con­sid­er­able re­flec­tion and ob­ser­va­tion to note that the 31sr Congress took place in the kind of po­lit­i­cal con­di­tions where Party Ac­tivists were quite vis­i­ble in var­i­ous Sub-re­gions wher­ever pick­et­ing demon­stra­tions and work­ers protests were oc­cur­ring over a pe­riod of the en­tire 2016.

This was par­tic­u­larly the ex­pe­ri­ence along the West De­mer­ara (the Wales Es­tate clo­sure de­ci­sion of the APNU-AFC ad­min­is­tra­tion).

Re­gion Four (East Bank/ East Coast De­mer­ara (protests over the bla­tant ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties of Ge­com), as well as in the twin Ber­bice sub-re­gions (Sugar work­ers in­dus­trial ac­tion as well as pick­et­ing of Ge­com branch of­fices).

The con­tin­u­ing armed vi­o­lent crime wave in sev­eral parts of the coun­try es­pe­cially in vul­ner­a­ble ru­ral or town­ship lo­ca­tions, also served to place many lo­cal party groups on vir­tual red alert

The re­sult of these trends was that Congress prepa­ra­tions en­sued on the tracks of the tra­di­tional District/ Re­gional Raf­fle and Bar­be­cue Fun Day af­fairs.

In fact the Fun Day as­pect may well have been re­set to co­in­cide with a planned Horse Race event sched­uled for No 79 Vil­lage, Coren­tyne.

This is an ex­pen­sive labour in­ten­sive and com­plex un­der­tak­ing that in­volves chal­leng­ing en­gage­ments with Ge­orge­town based au­thor­i­ties and bu­reau­cracy (eg. Per­mit/li­cence from the En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency or EPA as well as ar­range­ments with the Ber­bice Di­vi­sion of the Guyana Po­lice Force who pro­vide a de­tach­ment of po­lice of­fi­cers as a paid for ser­vice se­cu­rity).

Due to cir­cum­stances be­yond the con­trol of the Or­gan­is­ers this event could not be spon­sored as en­vis­aged to at­tract sev­eral thou­sands of Ber­bi­cians. It was called off

Vis­its and In­ter­ac­tions with Se­nior Party Per­son­nel

An­other in­ci­dent that in­volved party re­sponses was the Mag­is­trate court ap­pear­ances of Dr Bheri Ram­saran at the Whim ju­ris­dic­tion.

That episode prac­ti­cally was a con­se­quence of a planned provo­ca­tion on the part of a lo­cal rights ac­tivist who was a sub­ject to Dr Ram­saran’s ad­mo­ni­tion.

In fact there were at least two pick­et­ing ex­er­cises car­ried out in sup­port/ sol­i­dar­ity with Dr Ram­saran as the mat­ter was heard be­fore a lo­cal ju­di­cial of­fi­cial.

East Ber­bice in par­tic­u­lar has also wit­nessed a num­ber of Reach Out type of com­mu­nity in­ter­ac­tions where se­nior Party of­fi­cers have been vis­i­ble.

One day vis­its have ad­di­tion­ally been or­ga­nized where for­mer Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Cle­ment Ro­hee has been on hand to en­gage at the po­lit­i­cal level.

Ac­cabre Ed­u­ca­tion Cour­ses

The PPP, has over the months since the 2015 gen­eral and re­gional elec­tions, mo­bi­lized on a broad front and based on the 2015 Man­i­festo, or, more cor­rectly rec­om­men­da­tions.

To em­power the present clus­ter of groups Ac­cabre Ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses have been spon­sored di­rectly through the Sec­re­tar­iat’s Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Hy­dar Ally and oth­ers (Esse­quibo and Ber­bice).

Dur­ing the course of 2016 one group of stu­dents com­pleted the top­ics as­signed and were pre­sented with Cer­tifi­cates.

It should be rec­og­nized that in­ter­nal to this Sub-re­gion there has his­tor­i­cally been a ro­bust stream of po­lit­i­cal sup­port­ers, mainly of younger aged citizens as well as the Pro­gres­sive Youth Or­gan­i­sa­tion be­com­ing card car­ry­ing PPP mem­bers

Work Pro­gramme and Group Flex­i­bil­ity

All Party groups (Ar­ti­cle 13) must be ‘re­fer­rals’ of District. No group has the right to dic­tate to an­other. Based on July 2005 ren­o­vated Con­sti­tu­tional Clauses ap­proved at the 28th Anna Regina Congress, Ar­ti­cle 13 high­lights two is­sues. These are as fol­lows: i. The ba­sic group unit to be drawn from mem­bers of the Party in a place of res­i­dence, work or study in the District. ii. Each Group’s for­ma­tion shall be sub­ject to the ap­proval or rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

What ac­tu­ally has tended to be the ex­pe­ri­ence is the res­i­den­tial for­mula or cri­te­ria qual­i­fy­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a group. Group cre­ation on the other hand and in cer­tain Neigh­bour­hoods where, for ex­am­ple there are large hous­ing schemes poses a dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity dilemma in terms of the tra­di­tional vil­lage, or “rib­bon set­tle­ment”, or ward, or PCU, or Neigh­bor­hood as the case might (well) be (come).

East Bank De­mer­ara, West Coast De­mer­ara as well as the hin­ter­land lo­ca­tions of Barima/Waini and the Rupu­nuni not to over­look the Up­per De­mer­ara/Up­per Ber­bice riverains, have spe­cial de­mo­graphic char­ac­ter­is­tics of a so­cio eco­nomic as well as eth­nic kind that must be re­solved from the in­cep­tion of a new ba­sic unit or Group.

It would seem there­fore that the au­thor­ity of the Re­gional Sec­re­tar­iat is crit­i­cal.

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