“Harper brings to the table more than the APNU/AFC coalition can imagine” – Edghill


By Jomo Paul

Elisabeth Harper (center), her husband (second from left) flanked by government ministers.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill says while it may not be evident, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) choice for its Prime Ministerial Candidacy has so much more to offer than the Opposition can fathom.

Edghill was at the time speaking on Hard Talk aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday, March 01, accompanied by A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) James Bond, who both proffered some startling views about the appointment of Elisabeth Harper.

“Ms Harper brings to the table more than the APNU AFC coalition can imagine and I can say that because this is someone who I know – I know her quality and how she can reach across the divide. And this is where I think the APNU/AFC coalition is shivering in their boots,” opined Edghill.

The PPP/C official lamented that Harper’s appointment will make a great difference in Guyana as far as class is concerned.

Edghill said “her nomination as the Prime Ministerial Candidate has bridged so many gaps and has made so many profound statements and of course she is whistle clean.”

Addressing the concern that Harper was conspicuously silent when the announcement of her Prime Ministerial candidacy was made, Edghill said that this was done because Harper was still the Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“They just don’t know how to deal with it,” said Edghill referring to the political opposition as he noted that “her persona and demeanour is not one of conflict and confrontation.”

He however did not answer directly when asked whether the PPP/C had to stray away from its traditional realm and pool of politicians to bring someone with a clean slate to fill the Prime Ministerial post.

“The civic component of the PPP/C alliance have always been people who are not known to be political animals….not your traditional politicians…the woman factor, the PPP/C has bit the bullet and set leadership in this country as it relates to women empowerment,” said Edghill during the hour long intense debate.

Meanwhile APNU MP Bond for his part said the Harper should be allowed to be her own person, which does not seem to be the case since she did not speak at the press conference announcing her appointment.

“We must not just put a woman there for the sake of putting a woman there. I think we must put a woman and allow her to be herself in the capacity in which she was selected for…why is Minister Rohee and President Ramotar speaking for her? I think that dampened whatever excitement I may have had,” posited Bond.

He went on to proffer that maybe “she was just being used politically for the very same reasons Bishop Edghill outlined – to appeal to a particular class….We do not still know, what does Mrs Harper stand for? What is her platform”?

Bond also said that the selection of Harper shows some “slight” towards long standing politicians such as Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.

He argued that the PPP/C cannot elude the “the fact” that a lot of disrespect was meted out to Hinds during his 22 years in Office.

Bond also pointed out that in more ways than one, Birkett would suitably fulfil all of the qualities noted by Edghill as having belonged to Harper.

“The Opposition was expecting Birkett, – we were rooting for you…she is a minister; she kept her image squeaky clean,” said MP Bond.