Shyam Nokta could emerge as PPP consensus presidential candidate

On Thursday, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) began hearing from five of its presidential candidate hopefuls, reports show that Shyam Nokta who’s a former presidential advisor could emerge as the consensus candidate to contest the next general elections.

Nokta, 44, the son of veteran PPP member, Harripersaud Nokta, is said to have very good relations with party General Secretary, former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

According to Nokta, he had turned down a request to join the race for the candidacy but at the same time he left the door open to taking up the offer again if called upon. “At this point in time, nobody would want to rule out anything but let’s see how the process moves forward,” said the environmentalist.

Those expected to make presentations before the 35-member Central Committee on Thursday and Friday are Dr. Frank Anthony, Canadian-trained political scientist Gail Teixeira, Irfan Ali, Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, and Dr. Vindhya Persaud whose father is late PPP stalwart and iconic Hindu cleric, Reepu Daman Persaud.

After the Committee hearings, the party is expected to decide on its candidate either by secret ballot or consensus.

Observers note that Anthony, Teixeira and Nokta have not been tainted by police investigations or criminal charges. At the same time, it has been said that the PPP’s presidential candidate should be someone with Cabinet experience and who is committed to the party’s programme for Guyana’s development.

Nokta, a British-trained environmentalist, served as Head of the Office of Climate Change at the former Office of the President and, along with Jagdeo, had piloted the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) for the protection and preservation of standing forests and scale up use of renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and at the same time earn revenue. The LCDS has since been modified by the David Granger-led administration and restyled the Green State Development Strategy.