Confident that his party has overwhelming support in hinterland communities, PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo is not fazed at the formation of a political party by prominent indigenous leaders.
Jagdeo said the PPP invested heavily in the development of Amerindian villages and the fostering on indigenous rights. He believes that the indigenous peoples will take that into consideration when they cast their vote.
The political party announced by former Vice Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Lennox Shuman is preparing for an official launch in September – Amerindian Heritage Month.
The party is expected to draw major support from Amerindian communities as Shuman intends to champion the rights of indigenous peoples.
The PPP, which traditionally has a strong support base in those hinterland villages, is likely to lose critical votes if those persons throw their support behind the new Amerindian party.
But Jagdeo is not worried. He told reporters at a recent press conference that one has to differentiate between the “mass of the Amerindian people” and a “few individuals” who simply want to form a political party.
“There was an Amerindian party before, remember, GAP… GAP said it was an Amerindian Party in Region Nine and since then our membership in the Amerindian communities [grew]…if you look at our congress, one-third of our delegates were from the hinterland, one-third!” the party’s dominant spokesperson exclaimed.
The Guyana Action Party (GAP) had eventually teamed up with the Peoples National Congress Reform to form the A Partnership for National Unity.
Jagdeo believes when the time comes to vote, Amerindians will look at the PPP’s track record. He cited strides made under the PPP Administration in areas of Land Titling; Community Development; and access to solar energy, healthcare, and education.
The other faces behind the political party announced by Shuman are currently unknown.
The name of the party, its logo, and colors are yet to be decided.
While the party’s intention is to focus on indigenous issues, Shuman said the party will be an all-inclusive party.
Apart from the indigenous party, many other individuals have come forward expressing an interest in forming political parties to contest the general elections in 2020.
The common cry is frustration with politics in Guyana, particularly the fractured relationship between the country’s two longstanding parties – the PPP and the PNC.