PNC/R open to ideas on inclusive governance -Hoyte
Stabroek News
July 12, 2002

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The People's National Congress REFORM (PNC/R) is open to ideas on inclusive governance and is committed to a restart of the inter-party dialogue once the agreements reached so far in the process are implemented.

"We never have closed minds in the People's National Congress REFORM," Leader of the Opposition and the PNC/R, Desmond Hoyte, told reporters yesterday at a press conference hosted by the party.

"We are convinced that the very word 'power-sharing' raises hackles. The moment you raise it a lot of people shy away particularly opposition parties," Hoyte said.

He stated: "We are not averse to some kind of inclusive government which is not the winner-take-all situation that we have and we said so in our submission to the Constitution Reform Commission. We advocated some form of inclusivity without using the word power-sharing."

He stated that a solution must be arrived at in consultations with persons representing all sections of society. "I think it is clear that the system we have is not working, that serious thought has to be given to a better system; one which commands the confidence and support of the majority of people in this country. This calls for us to put our heads together and come up with something that is workable," he said.

"What you find normally is that people put forward a thesis: let there be power sharing but when you try to delve behind the shibboleth you find nothing. Most have not thought through the policy."

Hoyte noted that there have been calls that the dialogue should be restarted for the good of the country.

He referred to the letter written by him to President Bharrat Jagdeo in March pointing out that decisions taken during the process were not implemented. "People were getting very restive and [were] questioning the good faith of the dialoguers-Jagdeo's good faith and my good faith and wondering whether we weren't wasting time and fooling people," he said.

He stated the party took the position to maintain a pause in the dialogue until the decisions arrived at were implemented.

He said the persons who are calling for a restart of the process are doing so as though they were not aware of the issues.