PPP wants urgent meeting on dialogue issues

Guyana Chronicle
June 3, 1999

THE People's Progressive Party (PPP), the main arm of the governing PPP/Civic alliance is advocating that an urgent meeting of the inter-party dialogue personnel would be important for the clarification of outstanding issues.

In a statement yesterday, the party said its General Secretary, Mr Donald Ramotar in a response to his People's National Congress (PNC) counterpart, Mr Oscar Clarke said claims of "an agreeable agenda for the resumed dialogue is not only inconsistent with that agreement but offends the state of affairs regarding correspondence on this subject between both parties."

The statement said Ramotar reminded Clarke that at the meeting between President Janet Jagan and PNC leader, Mr Desmond Hoyte, Mrs Jagan had proposed some items for the new agenda.

The President had also written Mr Hoyte documenting these items.

Meanwhile, Ramotar in response to a second letter sent by Clarke said: "The call for the early establishment of a permanent Elections Commission was in response to the PNC's position on the composition of the current Elections Commission in the context of its management of local government elections of 1999."

"The PPP strongly believes that there is the need to amend the Constitution now to facilitate the formation of an Elections Commission under the Carter Center formula (introduced here by former United States President Jimmy Carter), used in 1992, 1994 and 1997 Elections, to manage the 1999 Local Government elections," Ramotar added.

"The party reminds the PNC that the Constitution Reform process is intended to conclude with an adopted Constitution which would be the framework for the holding of the 2001 general and regional elections. It is not intended to provide a framework for the 1999 local government elections. As such we feel that the Constitution can be amended and revert to the Carter Center Model used in 1992, 1994 and 1997, if not these elections will be held in accordance with the currently applicable constitutional provisions."

The opposition PNC has rejected an invitation from the PPP to discuss establishing a permanent Elections Commission and resuming inter-party dialogue.

In a reply to a letter from PPP General Secretary, Mr Donald Ramotar, his PNC counterpart, Mr Oscar Clarke argued that the Constitution Reform Commission was discussing the Elections Commission and further talks outside of this could influence these discussions.

And in a separate letter, Clarke suggested the two parties move to have "CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Secretary General (Mr Edwin Carrington) ensure the early return of the CARICOM Facilitator" to resume structured dialogue between them.

Ramotar last week wrote Clarke inviting the PNC to meet yesterday to discuss the Constitution of a permanent Elections Commission under the formula introduced here by former United States President Jimmy Carter for the October 5, 1992 general elections.

He also presumed that the meeting could include discussions on the suspended talks between the two major parties, with a source noting the agenda could be worked out at that level.

Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku last month brokered an agreement between the two sides to restart the inter-party talks, stalled for more than two months because of differences between the governing PPP/Civic alliance and the PNC.

A page from:
Guyana: Land of Six Peoples