Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015, 17:16 by GxMediaThe opposition coalition’s prime ministerial candidate, Moses Nagamootoo on Saturday poured cold water over the decision by the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) to select the Director General of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Elisabeth Harper as its prime ministerial candidate.
Nagamootoo believed that Harper’s unanimous selection was an attempt by the ruling party to repair its image heading into the May 11, 2015. “An attempt at this late hour is to embellish its slate. I believe it’s too little, too late,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
Asked whether he believed that Harper’s candidacy would contribute to a formidable challenge to the opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC), he “I am not sure what you mean by a formidable challenge. All I know is that the PPP is going to lose the elections badly.”
On the question of whether Harper,57, brings integrity to the PPPC’s slate, he reiterated that “they are trying to refurbish the slate. It is too little, too late. It will not save the PPP.”
He said the masses would have decide whether Harper can appeal to them on the campaign trail.
Observers believe that the PPP chose Harper because she is regarded as a person of integrity and it is aimed at patching up relations with the American, British, Canadian and European administrations which have been testy in recent months. The PPP-Civic administration has been profiled in some quarters as tainted with corruption, mismanagement, drug trafficking and nepotism.
PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee said the decision to select Harper was unanimously endorsed at a historic meeting by the party’s Central Committee, the second highest decision-making body of the party in between congresses. “The Central Committee, having considered a report from the Executive Committee on the subject of a prime ministerial candidate, was presented with a single nomination for the candidate to be the prime ministerial candidate for the PPPC,” said Rohee. He said Harper represents the Civic component of the party.
Already, the party has begun marketing Harper’s gender and professionalism in an apparent attempt to garner support from the middle class and female segment of the population. “I need not emphasise the intrinsic value of the instinct of women in general and in politics in particular coupled with competency and honest endeavor to serve and undoubtedly among these attributes she will be etched for time immemorial in hearts and minds of voters come May 11,” she said.
The PPPC’s Presidential Candidate, Donald Ramotar appeared to explain why the decision was taken not to select outgoing Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, who has in the post since 1992. “While we can boast of presenting a team of tried, tested and youthful leaders who have successfully enjoyed the democratic mandate of our people over the years, we continue to focus on renewal and reach out to the best who can serve in the interest of all the people of Guyana,” said Ramotar.
The incumbent president expressed confidence in Harper as his running mate, saying that she has served Guyana with distinction and has been a patriot rather than a partisan whose outstanding career has been dedicated to ensuring that Guyana remains united, prosperous and sovereign. “There are many well-deserving individuals within and outside of our ranks who received our attention and consideration….competence and quality of leadership speaks not only to our support base but to the wider Guyanese society rich in commitment and competence to hold important offices in our land,” he said.