She accused that party of running an unfair primary process to determine the presidential candidate, which worked for David Granger but worked against the other contestants. She disclosed that she decided to contest after she was written to in Sudan, where she worked, by young people and others who were looking “for an alternative.”
But even before she joined the race, Harding said, she had objected to the manner in which the campaign was being run and while overseas had even written to Lance Carberry to object. She pointed out that Granger was moving with PNCR leader Robert Corbin and was even using the party’s vehicles and the public relations staff members. She said she also wrote to Corbin and General Secretary Oscar Clarke but got no response to her letters.
Dr Harding pointed out that two days before the election of the presidential candidate, a book launching was held for Granger at the party’s head office with Corbin, Volda Lawrence and Amna Ally and others in attendance.
“It was a real pappy show…but that’s how it was.”
Further, Dr Harding described the election as a “fiasco,” with Granger’s campaign sharing out t-shirts in the compound when candidates were not supposed to take any paraphernalia into the elections. “Other people had their little thing too,” she said adding that fellow contestant Basil Williams sent for his t-shirts after Granger shared out his, “but he didn’t have anything much just about ten or twelve and Granger had hundreds.”
She also said many of the persons who were on the membership list were only members of the party for a short period and many of the old party members did not get the opportunity to vote. Harding also mentioned that the boxes where the votes were placed were open and there was music being played during the counting; at that point she left. Following the process, she said she felt sidelined in the party. She is of the view that it should have gone straight into campaign mode following the election of its presidential candidate. The party, however, subsequently engaged other groups towards the formation of opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity, which is chaired by Granger. The PNCR is APNU’s largest constituent.
Dr Harding said she made it clear that she was not interested in being a Member of Parliament this time around.
“I made that clear and I wrote to Mr Granger and I told him don’t ever consider extracting my name to go into Parliament under APNU,” she said, adding that not only did she not want to be in Parliament for APNU but she also did not want to work under Granger’s leadership.
Asked why, she said: “I don’t like his style. I really don’t like his style.” She added that she is a personality analyst but “I don’t want to do any analysis of his personality.”
Harding said there is no need for a military man to run a country and while Granger is “a fine, intelligent man,” he does not know anything about “governance and he can’t relate to people.”
She said she saw how the campaign for the presidential candidate was run and “it just confirmed some things to me.” According to Harding, even if APNU was to be in government, she would not have wanted to part of it because of the persons who make up the partnership. Further probed, she said the partnership did not excite her and when she looked at the list of parliamentarians, eight of nine front benchers are from the PNCR. “So where is the partnership? Why eight out of nine?” she questioned.
She is not against a coalition and added that she would have even collaborated with the PPP/C since there are people who “like them and want them” and it would have had to be included if APNU had won the elections or a large percentage of Guyanese would have been left out.
Dr Harding said, “…we have to stop this divisiveness. I am not basing what I am doing on what they [the PPP/C] do. I am basing it on what I feel our country needs and we don’t need this divisive politics.”
Had she won the PNCR primary, she said, she would have immediately taken her colleagues who ran with her on board but that was not the case with Granger’s camp. “We were kept out of any discussion after the primary… none of us had a part of any decision making or any discussion for anything,” Harding said.
Some time after, she said, Carl Greenidge was included and in July of last year he wrote to “them” indicating that she and others should be included. “It took weeks for them to respond to me to ask me to join the policy committee,” Dr Harding said, adding that she did join and wrote several policy papers which were used during the campaign.
Following this, she said, she was asked to edit speeches and she refused as she saw it as a waste of time.
“I am not into editing. I could edit but I felt that was a waste of my skills, my ability and my time,” she said, disclosing that she then stopped going to Congress Place.
In September she indicated that she was leaving the country for a month and she returned early November, but has not heard a word from anyone since. “Even the resignation letter has not gotten a response,” she pointed out.