With elections in Guyana just over a month away, the Prime Ministerial Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party, Elisabeth Harper intends to focus more over the coming weeks to introduce herself to the Guyanese people.
After a silent introduction to the media by the President back in February, Ms. Harper has now been making the media rounds and is selling herself as the candidate that has Guyana at heart. On the campaign stage, Harper has been staying away from criticizing the opposition and opposition candidates. Instead, she has been rolling out her vision for Guyana and has been explaining how best she believes she could add value to a PPP Civic government.
Appearing on the Sunday Talk Show, “Hard Talk with Christopher Chapwanya”, the Prime Ministerial Candidate admitted that she is not a member of the People’s Progressive Party and only became affiliated to the non-active Civic component when she was asked to be the Prime Ministerial Candidate and accepted.
She said she does not believe her job at the political rallies should be about attacking or talking about the opposition but rather should be more about letting people know who she is and have them understand the role she will play in a new PPP Civic government.
Harper said “I did not mention their names because I did not think that was necessary for me to. I was speaking to people who came to hear me speak about what do I bring to the table, who is this lady and what is she thinking. I was addressing those people.”
While Harper has been staying clear of the usual political attacks on the campaign stage, her running mate, President Ramotar and other PPP Candidates have been constantly attacking the opposition and the credibility of the candidates on that side. Harper said every one has their own style “and so people package their messages differently”.
Harper who is the former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and who served as Ambassador to a number of Caribbean states, told Chapwanya that she sets herself aside from the rest of the crown on the campaign stage because “its hard to change who you are and I intend to maintain my line in terms of, I am here to serve you, this is what I would like to do for you and this is how I am going to do it”.
Although she introduced the issue of her battle with domestic violence from more than two decades ago, Harper said it is not an issue that should be taken lightly during the campaign. She said it is unfortunate that her non participation over the years in anti domestic violence programmes and her silence on her own experience would now be debated.
She said she has forgiven her former husband and has moved on but there are still many women who are living in bondage and who might need to move on also.
APNU+AFC Prime Ministerial Candidate Moses Nagamootoo has challenged Harper’s position on the issue of domestic violence. During a recent rally, Nagamootoo said that if she was really serious about taking on the fight of domestic violence, she should not be on the same stage and platform with former President Bharrat Jagdeo who allegedly abused his former partner Varshnie Singh during their time together.
Harper said debates on the issue is an “unfortunate saga” and she does not want the issue to be used as a political football.
She said as elections approaches, she wants Guyanese to focus more on the issues because those issues should be what really matter to them and how they see their future.
Filed: 5th April, 2015