Anthony in key Guyana talks

Guyana Chronicle
October 23, 1999

SAINT Lucia Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony met President Bharrat Jagdeo and leader of the main opposition PNC, Mr. Desmond Hoyte in separate sessions yesterday on the political situation here.

Anthony has oversight responsibility for the Guyana situation from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders and is due to brief them on his meetings here at their seventh special summit next week in Trinidad and Tobago.

President Jagdeo will be attending the summit and Anthony is due to brief reporters here today before leaving for the conference.

The Saint Lucian Prime Minister yesterday also met other political parties and representatives of civil society.

He flew here Thursday night for an update on the political dialogue between the two major parties and the constitution reform process, ahead of the Trinidad summit.

Anthony met President Jagdeo and representatives of the governing People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/Civic) at the Office of the President and later met Hoyte and members of the main opposition party.

He also saw leaders of the two smaller parliamentary opposition parties, The United Force (TUF) and the Alliance For Guyana (AFG) and met members of the Private Sector Commission.

Up to press time he was still locked in meetings with the two smaller parties.

Anthony was assigned responsibility by CARICOM heads in July this year to oversee the implementation of two CARICOM brokered `peace' deals signed between the two major political parties last year.

The Herdmanston Accord and the Saint Lucia Statement envisage political dialogue between the two major parties.

Hoyte recently criticised the inter-party dialogue process claiming it was not achieving anything, but indicated that his party will not be breaking it off.

CARICOM Facilitator for the structured dialogue, Mr. Maurice King was present at all the meetings Anthony held yesterday.

King was sent here last year September by CARICOM to mediate talks between the PPP/Civic and the PNC. His contract was renewed in March this year.

The two parties signed the Herdmanston Accord and the Saint Lucia Statement last year amid violence and rising tensions sparked by PNC anti-government street protests in Georgetown after the December 1997 general elections.

The Saint Lucia document was signed by Anthony, then CARICOM Chairman, former President Janet Jagan and Hoyte.

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