The CARICOM peace pact

Stabroek News
January 19, 1998

The agreement reached with the CARICOM Mission and the leaders of the People's Progressive Party (PPP)/Civic and the People's National Congress (PNC) requires:

*an immediate halt to all public demonstrations and marches in Georgetown and the ban on such demonstrations is to be lifted by the Government. This arrangement will stand for at least three months from January 17, 1998.

*an Audit to be carried out on the results of the December 15, elections in two stages. The first stage which has to be completed within three months from January 17, would be to determine the exact votes gained by each party. The second stage will look at the whole electoral process before and after December 15.

*the findings of the first stage of the Audit will be binding on the PPP/Civic and the PNC and legislation will be enacted to provide for this and to facilitate the findings being admissible as fact if an election petition is filed by one of the parties.

*the establishment by law of a Constitutional Reform Commission on which will be represented the various political parties, the trade unions, religious organisations, the private sector, youth and other social partners.

*The terms of reference will be determined by the National Assembly after consultations with the political parties and would be mandated to consult with all sections of the society.

*The Commission will be required to complete its consultations and make its report to the National Assembly within 18 months from January 17, 1998.

*General elections are to be held within 18 months of the presentation of the Commission's report to the National Assembly i.e by January 16, 2001.

*the PPP/Civic and PNC will create a framework for sustained dialogue within which they will discuss issues which could be resolved and foster greater harmony and confidence between them.

*to ensure that the provisions of the agreement are implemented without a hitch, each party would nominate a representative to jointly supervise the implementation of the terms of the agreement.

*CARICOM will monitor the implementation of the agreement and will be prepared to provide assistance in the implementation.

In a joint statement the leaders of the two parties said that they committed themselves to ensuring the agreement was implemented and that it was seeking the support of all Guyanese for it.

"We particularly invite all Guyanese to be motivated by a spirit of serious endeavour as we strive to build a cohesive society and an environment in which our country's political, social and economic problems can be constructively resolved.

Both President Janet Jagan and PNC leader Desmond Hoyte noted the willingness of Guyana's partners "to remain engaged with Guyana in this endeavour. Our success in achieving its objectives will be the best expression of our gratitude for their efforts the statement issued after the signing of the agreement said.