The Indian-dominated party PPP-C ruled Guyana
for over two decades after democracy was consolidated.
In a very even election in 2015, an alliance dominated
by Afro-Guyanans won and David Granger became president.
The government lost a vote of no confidence in 2018 and
had to announce new elections, but managed to postpone
it until March 2020. The result has since been
A few days after the March 2 election, the Electoral
Commission published preliminary results pointing to the
opposition party PPP-C leading by 51,000 more votes than
President David Granger's government coalition Apnu-AFC
(see Political system). However, one of the ten
electoral districts had not yet been counted.
Country facts and history of Guyana, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Due to signs of electoral fraud in the tenth
district, the PPP turned to the court to stop the
publication of the election results in that region. One
result was nevertheless presented in the media and now
it appeared as if the ruling Apnu-AFC won, with just
over 59,000 votes. In a joint statement, the EU, US, UK
and Canada questioned the outcome of the current Region
4, which is the region where the capital Georgetown is
located. Ten days after the election, the Supreme Court
ordered a recalculation of the votes in the disputed
district. But after some day, the OAS withdrew its
observers from Guyana, due to deficiencies in "justice
and transparency" in the voting bill. The ambassadors
from the EU, US, UK and Canada also left the vote in
When the preliminary data from the translation was
presented on June 6, the figures pointed to victory for
PPP-C, with 33 seats against 31 for Apnu-AFC. But the
government coalition rejected the result, claiming that
cheating had occurred. Apnu-AFC said it plans to take
the case to court.
The distrust vote held in December 2018 should,
according to the constitution, have led to new elections
within three months. The government lost the vote after
a member of the government coalition unexpectedly voted
with the opposition and accused the government of acting
"dictatorial" against individual members.
But the government claimed that 34 votes were needed
for it to go through, not 33, and that the person who
switched sides was actually disqualified as a member of
parliament because he has Canadian citizenship alongside
the Guyanese. The government was not heard in the first
instance, but well in the second, which annulled the
distrust decision at the end of March 2019. That
decision, in turn, was appealed to the Caribbean Court
CCJ, which constitutes the highest judicial body (see
Political system). In June, the CCJ decided the
question: the vote of no confidence was valid and thus
new elections had to be announced. Nevertheless, the
government has succeeded in delaying it all so that the
election is held only a few months before the current
term of office expires.
One reason why the government coalition and retired
army general David Granger have been trying so hard to
postpone the election is the newly discovered oil
resources in Guyana. When the first oil was pumped up on
December 20, 2019, President David Granger announced
that the date will henceforth be celebrated as "National
Granger also presented a plan for a "national
development decade", with plans to reform the education
system. He assured that all Guyanans will earn from the
oil and see their standard of living improved.
The oil revenues that are starting to roll in 2020
mean radically new conditions for poor Guyana. The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that
growth in 2020 could reach 86 percent. According to IMF
estimates, GDP can rise almost fourfold in five years.
New economic conditions also provide new political
opportunities. Those who are in power when the money
starts flowing have a unique opportunity to make
targeted investments and reward their support troops
(see also Natural Resources, Energy and the
Bitter contradictions have long prevailed in politics
in Guyana. This led to an early election in May 2015
(see Modern History). Ahead of that election, the then
opposition parties Apnu and AFC formed a common front
against the then ruling alliance PPP-C. The election day
itself ended quietly, but both sides proclaimed
themselves victors before any official result was
forthcoming, and they accused each other of jeopardizing
security in the country.
When, after four days, the Election Commission
announced the result, it was clear that Apnu-AFC won by
just under 5,400 votes, out of a total of about 400,000
cast. Apnus David Granger, who is Afroguyanan, became
President and AFC's Moses Nagamootoo, an Indoguyanan,
Prime Minister. But PPP-C refused to admit defeat and
claimed that the election was characterized by cheating.
Foreign observers, including from the US embassy, on
the other hand, felt that the election was right.
The day before the new government took office,
outgoing President Bharrat Jagdeo was indicted for
inciting rash hate, due to comments he is said to have
made at an election. Nevertheless, Jagdeo later became
the official opposition leader in the National Assembly
for his party PPP.
When David Granger swore the Presidential Declaration
on May 26, on Independence Day, he reiterated his
message of national unity and ethnic diversity. He
claimed to be the first to succeed in bringing together
all the major ethnic groups in Guyana, "for the first
time in 60 years".
The government planned to conduct municipal elections
within 100 days of its entry. Elections in the
municipalities had then not been held for more than two
decades. The schedule broke, but the elections were
finalized in March 2016. PPP-C, now the opposition party
at the national level, won the most votes overall and
took control of 48 of 71 municipalities. However, the
government coalition won in the larger cities.
International observers approved the election, but
turnout was only 47 percent.
The background to the vote of no confidence in
December 2018 was allegations of financial neglect in
connection with the emerging oil industry. The
opposition claimed that the oil company Exxon Mobil was
given too generous terms.
FACTS - POLITICS
Cooperative Republic of Guyana / Cooperative Republic
republic, unitary state
Head of State and Government
President David Granger (2015–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change
/ Apnu-AFC 33, People's Progress Party-Civic / PPP-Civic
32 (2015) 1
Main parties with mandates in the second most
People's Progress Party-Civic / PPP-Civic 32, A
National Unity Partnership / Apnu 26, The Alliance for
Change / AFC 7 (2011)
72% in the 2015 parliamentary elections
presidential and parliamentary elections 2025
- The result of the March 2020 elections is
not yet complete.Sources