April 4, 1998

Dear Sir,

Your editorial of Stabroek News of Thursday April 2, 1998 entitled "Dialogue", states that "the dialogue between Dr Roger Luncheon and Mr Aubrey Norton has not been making significant progress or dealing with the really important issues". I do not know how you arrived at such a conclusion.

In referring to possible dialogue between Mr Hoyte and Mrs Jagan, the editorial also states that "among the agenda items, one hopes, would be the issues of Constitutional Reform and various possibilities or models of power sharing". This suggests that you believe that these are important issues.

This issue of power sharing was raised by the PNC. In fact in our dialogue of Monday 30th March, Dr Luncheon did agree that the problem was more than the December 15 Elections and that it was a problem of developing a system of governance which is inclusive as opposed to excluding large sections of the Guyanese people. Dr Luncheon undertook to draft a Press Statement to this effect which we would have agreed to and issued jointly. To date the draft has not been received.

The PNC unlike the PPP went to this dialogue with an agenda and a clear analysis of the existing situation, the problems and proposals for resolution. The PPP throughout the dialogue has not manifested an interest in these important issues. Their interests were (i) the PNC recognising Mrs Jagan as President (ii) the PNC and PPP/C making public appearances to give the impression of reconciliation; and (iii) the removal of the facilitator, Mr Hugh Cholmondeley from the discussions between the PNC and PPP/C.

Mr Editor, the crucial issues have been raised. However, one hand cannot clap. The PNC is willing and ready to address all relevant issues. The PNC is of the view that the PPP/C is only interested in the PR advantages to be had from the dialogue. We surely hope that this is not so.

Yours faithfully
Aubrey Norton
General Secretary of the PNC and
PNC Representative in the dialogue.