CARICOM accord assures no victimisation - Hoyte tells PNC public meeting

By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
January 22, 1998

People's National Congress (PNC) leader Desmond Hoyte, on Tuesday assured supporters that one of the elements of the agreement he signed with the People's Progressive Party (PPP)/Civic was that there would be no victimisation of his people (PNC supporters).

He was at the time delivering the main address at a PNC public meeting which attracted approximately 8,000 persons at the Square of the Revolution.

Explaining several elements of the accord signed by the PNC and the PPP/Civic on Saturday to end the elections tension, Hoyte clarified some of the misconceptions he claimed were being promoted by the PPP/Civic and some sections of the media.

Hoyte said that he and Mrs Janet Jagan signed as two politicians representing two parties and no reference was made to the President. He said three eminent men in Sir Henry Forde, Sir Shridath Ramphal and Sir Alister McIntyre, were sent here by CARICOM Chairman, Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, to find a solution to the problem which exists in the country.

Hoyte pointed out that the agreement brokered by the three wise men entailed an independent enquiry into the 1997 elections which will be carried out under the auspices of CARICOM which will oversee the process.

Hoyte told the gathering that while the work of the auditors was going on, "we will tone down our protest to give the team an opportunity to do their work." He was quick to add: "It does not mean we cannot protest, about other things, if they victimise our people we will protest."

Regarding a claim that he agreed to let the PPP remain in office for three years until elections are held in 2001, the PNC leader said, "That's not so, there is nothing in the agreement like that." He reminded that his party was going to file an election petition which he was sure it would win.

Hoyte reminded his supporters that they have to stay mobilised and stick together, he told them to remain a unified force and not to give up the struggle which was going to test their will and discipline.

PNC's national candidate Edmund Khanoo also spoke at the meeting.

Hoyte and Neaz Subhan another PNC candidate, were scheduled to address a meeting at Victoria Line Top last evening, while the party's General Secretary Aubrey Norton along with Khanoo were slated to address a meeting at Plaisance Market Square.

Meanwhile, pamphlets urging people to stop using the services of products of three entities--one state-owned--were distributed at the meeting. The pamphlets did not say who was producing or printing them. When contacted, Norton said he had not seen the pamphlets and that neither he nor his party knew anything about them.