Mrs Jagan asks hemisphere to be on alert

Stabroek News
April 20, 1998

SANTIAGO, Chile, CANA-Guyana's President Janet Jagan yesterday called on hemispheric leaders to be on the alert for possible political violence in her country.

"I raised the question of threats to democracy to Guyana, urging them to be concerned with us.

I explained the whole process", said Jagan who raised her concerns during a caucus meeting with 33 other hemispheric leaders attending the Second Summit of the Americas here.

President Jagan said she informed leaders of the problems arising out of last December's general elections where the main opposition party led by Desmond Hoyte, a former president, has raised allegations of irregularities in the voting process.

Stating that she did not request any specific action from the hemispheric leaders, President Jagan added,"I asked them to be on standby because our fears are that Mr Hoyte might not accept the decision of the others."

President Jagan said she gave details about how the elections were conducted and the reports of the observer teams.

"...and still they don't accept the results of the elections and I see it as a challenge to the democracy (in Guyana) and you have to take into consideration the domino theory... if one fails, others may we are concerned with that..."

Jagan said she was concerned about keeping peace and democracy alive in Guyana.

"It is a hemispheric problem because democracies have to be stable and in our societies that is important."

Earlier yesterday, the Guyana president, speaking in one of the working sessions, appealed to leaders to keep alive the proposal for the establishment of a Regional Integration Fund - proposed by her late husband and former President Dr Cheddi Jagan.

Foreign Minister Clement Rohee said Guyana was concerned that the issue should not be forgotten.

"We feel we should not restrict raising it at fora such as the Summit of the Americas or the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) or the negotiations for a new LOME (Convention with the European Union)", he said.