Ramotar to be next president


Donald Ramotar of the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will be sworn in as the next president of Guyana on Saturday following Monday’s general election. The President is always chosen from the majority party in the next parliament. He will be replacing Bharrat Jagdeo who has served his two terms as permitted by the constitution.

Results for the election were released last night and gave the 65 seat National Assembly a minority government for the first time in the history of the country since independence from Britain in 1966.

The PPP/C took 48.6% of the vote and 32 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly. That is a drop of four seats on the 2006 result and leaves the party one seat short of a majority.

The main opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) took 40.8% of the vote and 26 seats, an increase of three seats on the 2006 result.

The United Force lost its one seat in the parliament but the Alliance for Change (AFC) gained two seats with 10.3% of the vote, taking their tally of seats to seven.

This means that the opposition parties will have one more seat in parliament than the PPP/C. Guyanese politics has been split down mainly racial lines with the PPP/C being dominated by the Indo Guyanese community whilst the opposition has been largely Afro Guyanese. Many analysts have welcomed the results, saying that it will force all the parties to compromise and talk to each other.

Turnout for the election on Monday was 72.9% up from the 68.2% turnout in 2006.

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