Politics of Guyana

  • 1227

Politics of Guyana takes place in a framework of a representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Guyana is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly of Guyana. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Tell your friends

Executive authority is exercised by the president, who appoints and supervises the prime minister and other ministers. The president is not directly elected; each party presenting a slate of candidates for the assembly must designate in advance a leader who will become president if that party receives the largest number of votes.

 The president has the authority to dissolve the parliament, but in contrast to a parliamentary regime, the Constitution of Guyana does not provide any mechanism for parliament to replace the president during his or her term of office, except in case of mental incapacity or gross constitutional violations. This makes Guyana an "assembly-independent" regime (Shugart and Carey 1992) much like Switzerland.

Only the prime minister is required to be a member of the assembly. In practice, most other ministers also are members. Those who are not serve as nonelected members, which permits them to debate but not to vote.The president is not a member of the National Assembly but may Address it at any time or have his address read by any member he may designate a convenient time for the Assembly.Under Guyana's constitution the President is both the Head of State and Head of Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

Legislative branch

Legislative power of Guyana rests in a unicameral National Assembly. In 2001 the makeup of the National Assembly was reformed. Now 25 members are elected via proportional representation from 10 Geographic Constituencies. Additionally 40 members are chosen also on the basis of proportional representation from National lists named by the political parties. The president may dissolve the assembly and call new elections at any time, but no later than 5 years from its first sitting.