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Hugh Desmond Hoyte
(9 March 1929 - 22 December 2002)
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, SC
Former President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Hugh Desmond Hoyte (9 March 1929 – 22 December 2002) was a Guyanese politician. He served as Prime Minister of Guyana from 1984 to 1985 and President of Guyana from 1985 until 1992.

Early life and education

Hugh Desmond Hoyte was born in Georgetown on 9 March 1929. He received the BA and LLB degrees from the University of London. Hoyte was a Barrister-at-Law of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and a Member of the Guyana Bar.


In 1969 Hoyte was appointed to the Queen’s Council. In 1970 Guyana became a Republic and this designation was changed to Senior Counsel. Between 1969 and 1984, Hoyte held many Ministerial posts under the PNC Government, including those of Home Affairs, Finance, Works and Communications, and Economic Development.

In 1984 he became First Vice President and Prime Minister, and subsequently Executive. President on the death of L.F. S. Burnham. From August 1985 – October 1992 Hoyte served as President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. As a Minister of Government, Hoyte had at various times responsibility for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) affairs under the Lome Convention and from 1981 to 1983 he was the ACP spokesman on sugar.

His portfolio included, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Affairs where he was charged with the responsibility for promoting freedom of movement within the Community and for coordinating CARICOM's policy on the environment for the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 and generally. He was also nominated CARICOM’s spokesman on sugar.

In his ministerial capacity, Mr. Hoyte served as Guyana’s Governor on the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank.Hoyte headed delegations to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Committee for Development and Cooperation, the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting, ACP/EEC Meetings and other Regional and international conferences on economic, financial and developmental issues.

He was Guyana’s chief representative at the deliberations that led to the establishment of the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and was a member of the Latin American Council from 1975 to 1983. Prior to his full-time service as a Government Minister, Hoyte held many public offices including that of Chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Committee, Chairman of the Timber Grants Wages Council; Chairman of the Customs Tariff Appeals Tribunal; and a member of the Elections Commission. He served as the Legal Adviser to the Trades Union Congress and several member unions.

Mr. Hoyte had a keen interest in ecological and environmental matters. He worked closely with the London-based Commonwealth Human Ecology Council and wrote and spoke on these issues, both locally and internationally.

Hoyte was the architect of the Iwokrama International Rainforest Project in Guyana, which he initiated at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1989.


On 22 December 2002, Hugh Desmond Hoyte died, aged 73. His body was laid to rest at the Place of the Seven Ponds in the Botanic Gardens on 29 December 2002.


Honouring the memory of Hugh Desmond Hoyte (1929 - 2002)
Honouring the memory of Hugh Desmond Hoyte
Dr David Hinds interviews Former Guyana President Desmond Hoyte
President Desmond Hoyte USA Visit 1988
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C. National Assembly Speeches: Volume 1 - Mar 1969 - Nov 1972 Download
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C. National Assembly Speeches: Volume 2 - 18 Dec 1973 - 19 Sep 1980 Download
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C. National Assembly Speeches: Volume 3 - 20 Feb 1981 - 24 Jan 1990 Download
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C. National Assembly Speeches: Volume 4 - 8 Jan 1993 - 6 Dec 2001 Download
19 June 1989
Memorandum of Conversation of President George H.W. Bush with President Desmond Hoyte of Guyana
The Hugh Desmond Hoyte Commemorative Lecture Series deatures presentations of distinguished academics and public figures on significant issues on which Desmond Hoyte himself felt strongly and to which he committed his political life. The lecture series was inaugurated on Friday, 19 March 2004 with Dr Tyrone Ferguson, lecturer and researcher at the Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, delivering a a presentation on “National Leadership and the Crisis of Governance: wither Guyana?”
12 March 2015
Sixth Hugh Desmond Hoyte Commemorative Lecture, 2015. Delivered by Mrs. Supriya Singh-Bodden
23 March 2011
Fourth Hugh Desmond Hoyte Commemorative Lecture, 2011. Vision or Pragmatism - The Transformational Role of Hugh Desmond Hoyter, SC. Delivered by Major General (retd) Joseph G. Singh, MSS, Msc, FRGS
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Hugh Desmond Hoyte
Occupation Lawyer, Politician
Date of Birth 9 March 1929
Place of Birth Georgetown, Guyana
Date of Death 22 December 2002 (aged 73)
Place of Death Georgetown, Guyana
Notable Accomplishments
Executive President of the Republic of Guyana: 6 August 1985 - 9 October 1992
Country profile Guyana
Presidents of Guyana
People's National Congress

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