People’s National Congress

Published 19th July, 2011

The People’s National Congress or PNC is a socialist party which was formed in 1957 by Forbes Burnham after he had left the PPP and draws much of its support from the African Guyanan community.

The PNC was the main opposition party in the 1957 and 1961 elections but in 1964 after the electoral system was changed to a proportional representation system they were able to take power with the support of The United Force (TUF).

The PNC went on to win the 1966, 1968, 1972, 1980 and 1985 elections, although they were not considered to be free and fair by the international community. From 1966 to 1980 Forbes Burnham was prime minister and then, with a change in the constitution in 1980, the Executive President.

Burnham died during a routine throat operation in 1985 and was replaced by Desmond Hoyte who instigated some electoral reform which led to what were seen as the first free and fair elections in 1992. The PNC lost the 1992 elections and have remained in opposition ever since.

In December 2000, the PNC formed an alliance with the Reform Group which draws its members from young professionals and the business community as well as with the People’s Unity Party (PUP). The PNC is now referred to as the PNC/Reform or PNC/R.

In the 2011 presidential election campaign the PNC formed an alliance called A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) with the Guyana Action Party (GAP), the National Front Alliance (NFA), the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) in an attempt to defeat the incumbent PPP.

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