June 19, 2015

Political Report #1047 PPP suffers setback in Guyana elections

By Dr. Odeen Ishmael, Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Guyana witnessed a change in administration after the ruling People's Progressive Party-Civic (PPP) lost by a mere one percent of the votes to an alliance of opposition parties comprising A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) in the general elections held on May 11. The retired army Brigadier David Granger, leader of the alliance, was elected as the new president while the grouping, with 50.3 percent of the votes, acquired 33 seats in the 65-seat National Assembly. The PPP-C obtained 49.2 percent of the votes and was allocated the remaining 32 seats.

Background to the elections

Back in 2011, the PPP-C won the general elections with a plurality of nearly 48 percent of the votes. The opposition parties, APNU-a coalition of the People's National Congress (PNC), the Working People's Alliance (WPA) and four other mini parties-and the AFC, which had contested separately, together actually garnered a majority of 33 seats with 52 percent of the votes, but since Guyana's constitution does not allow for post-election coalitions, the PPP-C formed a minority government under the presidency of Donald Ramotar.

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