Jagan, Hoyte lauded for St Lucia agreement

By Andrew Richards
Stabroek News
July 3, 1998

Political and other leaders are optimistic that the agreement reached Thursday in St Lucia between the leadership of the PPP and the PNC will contribute towards resolving the current political crisis here.

Leader of The United Force, Manzoor Nadir, said the agreement has shown that the two parties needed to be magnanimous towards each other in order to restore normalcy.

"It is good to see both parties arrive at a common ground," he said. "I don't want to sound too negative, but agreements are often violated, but this puts us one step closer to the return of normalcy in Guyana."

Nadir said he is happy that PNC leader Desmond Hoyte has agreed to return to parliament.

He said when the current position of the street protests is considered, it showed that the issues needed to be addressed urgently.

Nadir said he would support any legislation that will pave the way for the return of the first string of PNC parliamentarians to the national assembly.

Their seats were deemed vacant after they had failed to enter parliament.

"I want to congratulate both Mr Hoyte and President Janet Jagan for reaching this agreement in St Lucia, a country close to Guyana and Guyanese," Nadir stated.

Leader of the Good and Green Guyana party, Hamilton Green said, "In a tangled web of rhetoric and confusion, our CARICOM brothers have helped us find the way forward which could have happened long before all this post elections 1997 confusion."

He said he had urged the PNC, in an earlier statement, to enter parliament and conduct the right to oppose with decency from the proper forum.

Head of the Consultive Association of Guyanese Industry, David Yankana, told Stabroek News that the "essential ingredient" in the agreement is that it will help to restore dialogue that will lead to constitutional reform.

General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Joseph Pollydore, said that what transpired in St Lucia, is in keeping with the proposals put forward by his organisation.

"We had said if the talks between the PPP and PNC did not materialise, then the Article in the Herdmanston Accord which states that CARICOM could be included in the process could be invoked," Pollydore told Stabroek News.

He stressed that CARICOM should be "involved" in the current process in Guyana as opposed to intervening in the situation.

The proposal to appoint a facilitator for the dialogue was also put forward by the TUC, when its delegation met with Jamaican Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, Pollydore stated.