General election on 11th May
President Donald Ramotar has called a general election for 11th May 2015; regional elections will be held on the same day. The election comes nearly two years early and has been announced two months after the President prorogued parliament.
On 10th November 2014 the government faced a no-confidence vote in parliament and, with a narrow majority, it was clear that the motion might be carried. In an effort to preserve the government the President decided to close down parliament but since then has faced increasing criticism for his actions from inside and outside the country. Today’s announcement is his response.
You can find a good briefing of the situation leading up to the announcement here.
In the 2011 general election Ramotar’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) won 32 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly, a drop of four seats on the previous election. An opposition alliance, the four party A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) came second with 26 seats. APNU is made up of the Guyana Action Party (GAP), National Front Alliance (NFA), People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and Working People’s Alliance (WPA). Another party, the Alliance for Change won the remaining seven seats.
Ramotar’s party went on to form a minority government and he was elected President as the leader of the majority party in parliament.
Parties in Guyana tend to split along race lines with the PPP gaining greatest support from the Indian community whilst APNU gets most of its support from the Afro-Guyanese population.