Nagamootoo’s comment on Harper dismissed as a cheap shot

PPP/C Prime Ministerial candidate, Ambassador Elisabeth Harpe

“I would ignore him.” This four-word dismissal came from General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee, in response to Moses Nagamootoo’s recent attack on the PPP/C’s prime ministerial candidate, Mrs Elisabeth Harper.Rohee’s comment on the matter followed questions fielded on his view of the Nagamootoo statements.

Moses Nagamootoo

The prime ministerial candidate of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition on Sunday railed into Harper while making remarks at a Rally held at Whim, Region 6 (East Berbice/Corentyne).

“Do you know me? Do you know who Elisabeth Harper is?” Nagamootoo questioned, while adding sarcastically, “Well, this Harper lady says she wants to be Prime Minister because she was a victim of domestic violence.”

Rohee told the Guyana Chronicle that domestic violence is one of several issues that form part of Harper’s platform.

The PPP/C prime ministerial candidate herself said as much in her debut interview, a 20-minute broadcast aired on the National Communications Network (NCN) in the latter part of February, during which she was questioned by Olive Gopaul.

Harper is a 57-year-old career diplomat who has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for decades. She explained that her priorities as prime minister include: education, jobs, crime, support for the elderly, economic growth, the preservation of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; those are not one issue, as insinuated by Nagamootoo.

During the interview, the last issue, out of seven she touched on, was that of domestic violence – the subject of a story she has been able to tell, and will continue telling if it means support for another woman.

“Domestic violence is real,” Harper declared. She added, “Me being able to tell my story, I feel that I could encourage women and interest groups in society to help to rid us of this; also help young women who are looking for role models (and) who are looking to empower themselves.”

Minister Clement Rohee
Minister Clement Rohee

Her sentiments were expressed with the same confidence as when she commented on being able to emerge after the May 11 General and Regional Elections as Guyana’s first female prime minister. She had said then, “This is for all the women out there who see me as the first woman Prime Minister.”

Harper explained that, altogether, these seven issues are major ones that, with the appropriate continued focus, can complement the overall effort to ensure that Guyana is a country within which Guyanese youth remain in the country and enjoy good lives, as well as contribute to Guyana’s development.

Political observers have since echoed Rohee’s comment on the matter, summing up Nagamootoo’s attack on Harper, widely lauded as a hard working woman of integrity, as nothing but a cheap shot.