Guyana is a republic whose president has
great powers. Since the turn of the millennium, however,
the president has been allowed to share power with the
Legislative National Assembly. The strong contradictions
between the country's indigenous and African-peopled
groups also characterize the party system.
According to the 1980 constitution, Guyana is still a
state undergoing transformation from capitalism to
socialism. But the constitution has been revised several
times since the change of power in 1992 (see Modern
History), and as of 2000, the president's previously
almost unrestricted powers of power have been
circumvented. The president can now only sit for two
terms of office and through a vote of no confidence the
National Assembly can force a new election.
Total population and chart of Guyana for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Elections to the National Assembly are normally held
every five years. The parties appoint a presidential
candidate in advance and the party that receives the
most votes will also receive the presidential post. The
president is the head of state, head of government and
commander-in-chief. The president also appoints the
government ministers, including a prime minister who
leads the government's work under the president's
supervision (the president, however, is the head of
The National Assembly has 65 seats. Since 2001, all
members have been elected in general elections with a
largely proportional electoral system. Of the members,
25 are elected in regional constituencies and 40 from
national party lists. At least a third of the candidates
must be women.
Guyana is divided into ten regions and in the 70s
municipalities. Local elections were held in 1994, but
the following elections were postponed repeatedly due to
disagreement about the election system. Only in 2016
were elections held in the municipalities again.
Regional elections have been held at the same time as
the national elections.
As in some former British colonies in the Caribbean,
the Privy Council in London was for a long time Guyana's
highest judicial body. The Privy Council has now been
replaced by the Supreme Court of the Caribbean, the
Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Trinidad and Tobago.
CCJ started working in 2005. The Court also decides on
issues relating to the common market within the economic
cooperation organization Caricom.
Politics is colored by the deep distrust between the
country's two largest groups of people: Indians (Indoguyanans)
and Blacks (Afroguyanans). Two parties have been
completely dominant since the 1950s: the "Indian"
People's Progress Party (PPP)
and the "black" People's National Congress
(People's National Congress, PNC).
Both work closely with other parties (see below).
Both PPP and PNC were characterized for many years by
their founders, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, who
remained strong leaders throughout their lives (see
Older History). Both parties have distanced themselves
from the Marxism they profess to be and are now hot
supporters of the market economy. The parties, on the
other hand, have not succeeded in freeing themselves
from their ethnic character. In connection with previous
elections, violence has erupted and accusations of
electoral fraud have hailed between Guyanese Indians and
blacks. However, the latest elections have been possible
Since the beginning of the 1990s, PPP has been in
coalition with Civic, a small party
that has quickly become a department within PPP and is
mainly aimed at black businessmen and academics. It
gives PPP-C - which the party is now
commonly called - somewhat higher credibility as a
representative of all residents and not just the
Indoguyans. The PPP-C was in power between 1992 and
2015. The party's secretary general is the former
president Bharrat Jagdeo.
PNC has since 2000 called itself PNC Reform
(PNC-R). Prior to the 2011 election,
the party entered into an alliance with some smaller
parties, called A Partnership for National Unity
(Apnu). In the 2015 election,
Apnu, in turn, partnered with the Alliance for
Change (AFC), a party formed
in 2005 and has profiled itself as a party for all
Guyanese. Apnu-AFC won the election in 2015 and
PNC-Reform leader David Granger is president since then.