By Tracey Khan-Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prime Ministerial Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Mrs. Elisabeth Harper does not believe that her image is under threat following her alignment with the ruling Party even though the government continues to be accused to corruption or gross misconduct both locally and internationally.
During her appearance on the radio show ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM with host Chris Chapwanya, Mrs. Harper explained that her decision to accept the offer by incumbent President Donald Ramotar will give her the chance to serve the country in a higher and more effective capacity.
She does not believe that giving up her successful and untarnished record as a diplomat is a mistake; she is adamant that her credibility will be maintained.
“The position that I have accepted is one that I find to be an honourable one, it is one that would allow me to serve the people of Guyana in a higher capacity. Who would not want to do that if they had the opportunity especially if they had their country at heart and the people of the country?…My reputation being tarnished? My credibility speaks for itself, my integrity is intact and that’s it…I just want to give what I can to the people of Guyana,” she said.
The Former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also responded to concerns of Leader of the Opposition, David Granger that her entrance into the PPP/C will have no impact on their way of doing business.
“Mr. Granger is quite within his grounds to say what he feels, I know what I know, I know what I believe in and this is what I am going to be doing. I think my focus really is to speak to the electorate, the electorate wants to hear what the issues you are bringing to them and that is what I will be doing in the next few weeks…my integrity speaks for itself and therefore I am presenting myself to the people of Guyana as someone who I hope they can have some confidence in.”
Mrs Harper in responding to critics about her sudden stance on the issue of domestic violence described it as an, “unfortunate saga” that will only discourage other women from speaking out.
“I wonder in all of this what this unfortunate saga is doing to some of those women who initially might have heard me speak. Yes it might have been 25 years later…but there may be women who are currently been abused and they have no recourse, now what does that do to their confidence if this is now being seen as though it is just sort of a political football? It is not, it is a very serious issue and it is something that should go across the political divide.”
During the campaign trail, the career diplomat intends to maintain her diplomatic decorum and focus on issues and not personality.
“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, this is how I am going to do it. I will work with the PPP/C when we get into government, we will even work with the Opposition as we have to because we are working for Guyana, we’re not working for ourselves.”
Mrs. Harper was careful while giving a position on the rights of the LGBT society noting that, “Everyone has a right to live their life the way they see and therefore it’s their life, I do know that the government will be embarking on consultations with regard to the rights of the LGBT and so therefore that consultation has to take into account all of the views of all of the population and at that point Guyana will decide.”
Mrs Harper replaced Prime Minister Samuel Hinds as the PPP/C candidate after he served in the position for close to 22 years.
While she remained as Ambassador General for the past month, Harper has taken to the campaign trail and was well received by many with her message to eradicate domestic violence.