The challenge of change underscored as PNC remembers Desmond Hoyte

Desmond Hoyte’s emphases on ideological and political change were not misplaced says Leader of the People’s National Congress, Former President David Granger. He was speaking at a memorial event for the late President, Prime Minister and former Leader of the Opposition on Tuesday morning. Hoyte who died 18 years ago was described as a champion of change, “He understood the inevitability of change, as the Founder-Leader did a generation earlier,” Granger said in his address on Tuesday morning, “not as an instrument of self-enrichment or self-aggrandisement but of the Party’s progress and the people’s happiness,” the party leader said.

Granger said that the party has always geared itself for change, as he said this was rooted in Forbes Burnham’s concern about the changing conditions in the country and the party’s response to those challenges. The Founder-Leader of the Party appointed Hoyte as series of port folios, Granger explained, to aid the party’s transition from one in opposition to one in government, as the party required a change in leadership and a leader with the quality of “intellectual integrity” he said.

Desmond Hoyte was appointed to the key portfolios of Minister of Home Affairs, 1969-1970; Minister of Finance, 1970-1972 and Minister of Works and Communications, 1972-1974. His appointments focused on the economy as Minister of Economic Development. In 1974-1980 he was Vice-President for Economic Planning and Finance after the 1980 general elections; he was re-designated Vice-President, Production in 1983, Granger said.

Hoyte was later appointed Prime Minister in 1984 after Dr Ptolemy Reid’s resignation. He succeeded Burnham as President following his passing and was elected as President following the 1985 elections.