Various concerns have arisen about the process which will be used to select the next presidential candidate for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), but that party’s General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, has made it clear that the system used since 1992 will remain the chosen one.“There is a longstanding tradition: The congress selects the central committee and the central committee choses the candidate,” Jagdeo told a media conference on Thursday.Charles Ramson JrHe said this system, which was introduced by the party some 25 years ago under the leadership of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan, still obtains today.“So I doubt that is going to change for these elections, because that is the position. I tell you this because it seems as though many people, in speculating about how the candidate would be chosen, are not aware of this process,” he explained.The PPP General Secretary maintained that the party remains committed to the highest levels of transparency, accountability and democracy as it undertakes the process of selecting its next presidential nominee.“That’s the process we have used, and from all indications, that is the process we will use again to select the next candidate; unless the central committee itself decides to change that procedure,” he added.Jagdeo said the chances of people entering the race for the candidacy are possible, as this has been a longstanding practice of the PPP.“But at the end of the day, it is how many votes you muster there from the 35 (central committee members) that will matter in a democratic fashion. That person will emerge as the candidate.”Nevertheless, Jagdeo said a special meeting will be convened shortly with 15 of the most senior party members to start planning for the 2020 elections and hold discussions about presidential candidacy.AnnouncementMeanwhile, in regard to Charles Ramson Jnr recently announcing his desire to become the PPP presidential candidate, Jagdeo said the former MP has departed from the party’s tradition.Just days after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had handed down a decision in the third term presidential case, the former PPP MP announced his bid to contest for the candidacy.He said Guyana needs high-quality leadership: leadership that exudes integrity, passion, vision; and leadership that is technically sound across many key disciplines. He said he fits these criteria, and in addition to that he is young, and will bring fresh leadership to the table.However, while the PPP General Secretary has explained that anyone from the party would be allowed to compete for the candidacy, he said a prospective contender would first have to be nominated.Asked to comment on Ramson’s announcement, Jagdeo said the presidential hopeful has strayed from the PPP longstanding tradition of employing an internal process to elect their presidential candidate.“We have a way of approaching these matters. This is a departure from that approach that we have always used in the past,” Jagdeo stated.Jagdeo said the presidential candidate for the PPP is usually elected through a secret ballot process that involves the 35-member Central Committee. He stressed that it has always been an internal process.Pressed for a comment on Ramson’s statement, and whether Jagdeo thinks Ramson is suitable for the position of presidential candidate, Jagdeo declined.“I am sure he recognises that if he doesn’t secure what he thinks he is eligible for, he will support the candidate who emerges out of that process,” Jagdeo said.The former Head of State rejected claims that Ramson would want to jump ship if he is not supported for the presidential candidate position by saying, “He will be leaving a prosperous ship for a sinking one.”He noted also that all PPP presidential candidates or those desirous of becoming one must be modest. He used Prime Minister and former PPP Executive Moses Nagamootoo as an example of someone who does not fit that post.“One thing we’ve frowned upon though is lack of modesty among people who are presidential hopefuls…I see some people saying they have nominations. Once they are nominated, they will be considered; but to be modest (is important) in the process. We don’t want to be the Nagamootoo-type egos to govern how we approach this matter,” Jagdeo added.