PRESS STATEMENT

LEADERSHIP REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR MAJOR POLICY ISSUES
- Discipline and unity of ranks highlighted

The Central Committee of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) held its statutory quarterly meeting today (January 31, 2004) at Party head office, Freedom House. Party leaders from all regions attended and deliberated on party organization and mobilisation, national political issues, the economy and strategies for the period ahead. The meeting lasted just under eight hours.
The General Secretary Donald Ramotar presented a comprehensive report on the international and local situation and an assessment of the state of the party and its structures. He also positioned the Party in the current political environment.
President Bharrat Jagdeo reported on the government’s positions on major political, economic and social issues. There was an update of government’s accelerated development programme aimed at brining higher levels of prosperity to all communities.
Following the presentations, there were full and incisive discussions by the leaders on the two reports which were adopted.
The Central Committee further reviewed the current political environment and reaffirmed its support for the constructive engagement process, the administration’s handling of the opposition/media allegations against the Minister of Home Affairs and policy initiatives to accelerate economic growth, create more jobs and to enhance the political environment. The Central Committee urged that safety and security issues continue to be of high priority and again accentuated the role of the security forces. The human rights and democracy track record of the PPP/Civic administration was further noted.
A number of strategies and proposals were made for enhancing the work of Party. A plethora of political interventions was tabled for consideration.
Meanwhile, at the start of the Central Committee meeting today, a number of members raised the issue of Khemraj Ramjattan who has consistently and unjustifiably attacked the Party Congress, the Party, members of the Leadership and the Government. Members expressed discomfiture in sitting in a meeting with Mr. Ramjattan in view of the usual vehemence of his positions and remarks, their lack of confidence that discussions will remain confidential and indicated they would either leave or not participate in the discussions. Mr. Ramjattan thereupon left the meeting of his own accord. The Central Committee was informed that a letter had been written last week to Mr. Ramjattan inviting him once again, to discuss the attacks referred to above.
The Central Committee held that party discipline and unity will not be compromised.

January 31, 2004