Removal of Marxism-Leninism from Party’s Constitution among proposals as PPP 32nd Congress gets underway today

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Party members at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday where registration was being done ahead of today’s opening of the PPP’s 32nd Congress (Photo: Randy Mangru Facebook)

The People’s Progressive Party’s 32ndCongress gets underway today and during the two-day forum, the ruling party is expected to consider several proposals made by members, including the removal of Marxism-Leninism from the PPP Constitution.

During a press conference on Thursday, PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo had disclosed that several membership groups, in keeping with their rights, have proposed amendments to the Party’s constitution which will be debated during the congress session.

In documents, seen by this publication, that were shared with registered party members on Friday there were ‘Resolutions to amend the Preamble and Articles 5, 13 and 14 of the Constitution of the People’s Progressive Party’.

In Article 5 Paragraph 7 and Article 13 Fourth Bullet Paragraph (B), it was recommended that the words “Marxism-Leninism” be replaced with “our Party’s founding principles, political philosophy, core values, history, struggles, and achievements”.

It was also proposed that Article 13 Fourth Bullet Paragraph (D) be deleted.

Based on the documents, a recommendation was also made for the words “Marxism-Leninism” to be removed in Article 14 (Progressive Youth Organisation) Third Bullet Paragraph (B) and be replaced with “our Party’s founding principles, political philosophy, core values, history, struggles, and achievements”.

Another proposal was proffered for Article 14 (Progressive Youth Organisation) Third Bullet Paragraph (D) to replace the word “socialist” with “just and equitable”.

For Article 14 (Women’s Progressive Organisation) Third Bullet Second Sub-Bullet, the words “Marxism-Leninism” are also being recommended to be replaced with “our Party’s founding principles, political philosophy, core values, history, struggles, and achievements”.Marxism-Leninism is a political philosophy founded on ideas of Marxism and Leninism, often used specifically to refer to the state ideologies of communist nations.

Last November, GS Jagdeo had told reporters at a press conference that any decision to remove this founding ideology of Marxism-Leninism from the PPP constitution would have to be determined by the Party’s members.

“That is a question for Congress. The General Secretary of a party doesn’t/cannot alter the constitution of a party on his own. It is a question for Congress… I have my positions and I am not going to, in the public domain, explore this. I will explore it at the appropriate levels of the Party. We have consistently been a working-class party. We are not wedded to ‘isms’. We want to make sure all of our people make progress, in this country. We want to work for poor people and get into the middle class of society. So, any ‘ism’ whatsoever is inconsistent with that, it cannot continue to be the prevailing philosophy of our Party,” he had noted.

Set for May 3-5 at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, PPP’s 32nd Congress is being held under the theme: “Strengthen the Party, Defend Guyana, Unite All Our People for Progress and Prosperity”.

The Congress is the highest decision-making forum of the Party, and this year’s biennial congress is set to be the largest in the Party’s history with over 3000 persons registered.During this weekend’s event, more than 90 persons will be vying to be a part of the PPP’s Central Executive Committee. Delegates will have to elect 35 persons from 93 contestants to form the Central Executive of the Party, followed by the election of another five candidates who will attend the meetings of the committee but will not have voting rights.

Top positions in the Party such as General Secretary will not be contested openly at the Congress, but rather, will be done at the level of the newly-elected Central Committee.

The two-day Congress will also include seven workshops focusing on key issues relating to strengthening the Party, politics and Parliament, social and economic policies, local Government, social media, international relations, and youth and gender.

“There will be seven workshops with delegates and observers will freely express their views and have those views documented, so the views can then infuse the future programmes of the Party with those ideas that come out of the Congress,” GS Jagdeo explained on Thursday.

Further, resolutions are expected from various groups on the situation in Palestine and the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy. Additionally, the Central Committee’s report will also be presented, outlining the history of the party, its core values, struggles, and developments from the last Congress to date.

The last Congress was held in 2016 when the PPP was in Opposition. This year’s Congress is being hosted ahead of the 2025 General and Regional Elections, where the ruling PPP will be seeking a return to office.