Presidential Candidate for the APNU-AFC Coalition, retired Brigadier David Granger believes that the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elizabeth Harper should have said “no” to the People’s Progressive Party when she was offered the Prime Ministerial Candidate position.
President Donald Ramotar on Saturday morning named the career diplomat as his running mate for the upcoming elections.
Speaking to News Source from his Georgetown home on Saturday evening, Mr. Granger said Ambassador Elizabeth Harper was a well-respected public servant but he believes that her acceptance of the PPP’s offer to be Mr. Ramotar’s running mate will now cast a shadow over other public servants.
“Ambassador Harper was well-respected. We do not know of her political views but we feel that this move by the People’s Progressive Party is a desperate and damaging move which is going to affect the public service and it will affect the public’s perception of public servants”, Granger said.
The Opposition Leader said he does not believe that Ms. Harper’s candidacy will erase “the damage” that the PPP has done to Guyana over the past 22 years in government. “We do not feel that Ambassador Harper’s appointment is sufficient to correct the damage that had been done by the PPP to this country if that is what they were hoping”.
Though Granger said he was not surprised by the move, he expressed his disappointment by noting that “the PPP has a very bad reputation for public service and accountability and transparency and the lack of democracy and I think that by associating herself with the PPP, it will do her reputation no good and I do not know what the PPP expects to gain from it”
“I am very disappointed. She should have told the PPP no and that this can’t work”, Granger told News Source.
Granger said he is convinced that the PPP is trying to build up its bad reputation by bringing persons with good reputation to the front line but that might be too little, too late.
Just last Saturday, the two main opposition parties, A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change announced their coalition to head into the elections on a single list of candidates. The AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo will serve as the Prime Ministerial Candidate.
President Donald Ramotar has declared that he is confident that the PPP will win the elections and regain the majority with Harper at his side.
Although Ambassador Harper is well-known in the diplomatic community, some political observers have already opined that she is not popular among the wider cross-section of the Guyanese public and the PPP will find itself being forced to do lots of promotion of her in the lead up to the elections.
The decision by the PPP to make Elizabeth Harper its Prime Ministerial Candidate means that Prime Minister Samuel Hinds will not run again for the office although he indicated his willingness to continue serving the party if it was so desired. The Prime Minister is now expected to retire at the end of the elections.
Filed: 21st February, 2015
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