Short for GY by Abbreviationfinder, 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.
- Countryaah: 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 government).
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 The Privy Council has now been replaced by the Supreme Court of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Trinidad and Tobago.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 without violence.
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.