In the lead-up to the Local Government Elections (LGEs), a number of members from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) made a significant shift by pledging their support to the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). This decision elicited varied responses from prominent political figures, with PPP/C General Secretary (GS) Bharrat Jagdeo expressing gratitude and unity, while PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton downplayed the impact of these crossovers, and in some instances, even questioning their ability to sway votes in opposition strongholds.
Although the crossovers managed to secure votes, their collective impact fell short of tilting the balance of power in favour of the PPP/C. Consequently, the future prospects of these candidates appeared uncertain, now that the elections are winding down. Jagdeo, in a recent statement, was keen to note however that the PPP/C has no intention of discarding those crossovers who waged a good fight. On the contrary, he revealed that the candidates have expressed their willingness to continue working with the PPP/C in preparation for the upcoming 2025 General and Regional Elections.
“I said to them that we are a party that once you enter our family – that’s it. We cling to you. So, all those persons who supported us and voted for us, we see them as part of our family now. And so, we’re there in this for the long haul,” emphasized Jagdeo.
Furthermore, he stated, “Many of them have said that we need to start working for 2025 now; that we have to work to increase and build on what we have. That is the attitude throughout. So, those candidates, they are not going to be thrown aside. They will continue to be part of our family.”
During a recent press conference, Norton acknowledged that the preliminary LGE results confirmed his earlier belief that the crossovers would not significantly alter the balance of power in favour of the PPP/C. Despite this, he expressed a willingness to welcome back those who wish to return to the PNCR.
“We will extend a hand to any of them who want to come back because we know when you go to the PPP, you have use-value during the elections (but) just after that, you’re useless in terms of value,” Norton stated.