PPP still to make decision on 2020 elections Presidential Candidate

first_imgAs the hearing of the constitutionality of presidential term limits looms in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the main opposition group, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), are still undecided on who will be on their Presidential ticket for the 2020 General and Regional Elections.This was confirmed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo at his press conference on Thursday. Observing that he is more interested in building his party’s base than being bothered by an ongoing court matter, Jagdeo declared: “When the right time comes, we will decide on a Presidential candidate. This matter that’s going on in court is outside of the PPP, but if the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) thinks that I’m going to put all the PPP eggs in a Jagdeo basket, they are wrong…I’m not too worried about term limits,” he declared.His comments followed speculation over his future, he having formerly served as President from 1999 to 2011 and having re-entered the field of active politics, albeit reluctantly.Jagdeo stressed that he is mostly concerned about ensuring that his party is victorious at the nation’s next polls.“I made it clear that the PPP is not decided on a presidential candidate for 2020. I’m General Secretary of the party, I took over in January last year after the congress, and my job as General Secretary is to work hard to transform the party, to widen its base and prepare it to win the elections regardless of what position I serve in,” he noted.He responded to questions posed by the media highlighting the Attorney General’s appeal to the CCJ of a landmark Appeals Court ruling in February 2017 — which declared that sovereignty resides in the people and not in the Parliament; and as such, certain fundamental clauses in the Constitution that serve to define its substantive nature can be altered only by a referendum of the people. This ruling signalled that an amendment to the Constitution on presidential term limits, which was enacted when the National Assembly altered Article 90 via a two-thirds vote in 2000, needs a referendum to make a final decision.AG Basil Williams and colleague Raphael Trotman, through private citizen Cedrick Richardson, have challenged the ruling in the CCJ. It is slated to heard through live video at 10:00 hrs on February 28. If that appeal is unsuccessful, then the voters of Guyana would have a choice of four classes of persons that were barred by Art 17 of 2001. These classes are: (A) that only a citizen by birth or of parentage can qualify to be the President; (B) that a person must be residing in Guyana on the date of nomination for election, (C) that a person must have been a resident for seven years immediately before that date, and (D) Citizens of Guyana who have served for two terms as President.Last elections, back in 2015, saw former President Donald Ramotar serving as the PPP’s Presidential Candidate while his running mate was Diplomat Elisabeth Harper, who served as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.last_img

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