News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 21, 2020: Voters in the oil rich South American CARICOM nation of Guyana will go to the polls on Monday, March 2nd, to elect a new government for the next five years.
Nine parties are contesting the regional and general elections. The incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), led by President David Granger is being challenged by the main opposition party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP), as well as several smaller parties including: A New and United Guyana (ANUG), the United Republican Party (URP), Change Guyana, the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), the People’s Republic Party (PRP) and The Citizenship Initiative (TCI), The New Movement (TNM).
The Federal United Party (FED UP) and Organization of Victory of the People, (OVP) will only be contesting the regional polls.
The leader of the single party or coalition which emerges with the largest number of seats in the election will become the President of Guyana.
Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Election Observation Mission (CEOM) as well as the OAS, the Carter Center, the Commonwealth and the European Union are all on hand to monitor the country’s Regional and General Elections.
Members of Guyana’s disciplined services have already voted since Feb. 21st.
Elections in Guyana were originally due by September 2020 but are being held on Monday because the ruling APNU/AFC coalition lost a no-confidence motion in
December 2018. The coalition lost the motion by a vote of 33-32 when an AFC member crossed the aisle to oppose the government. A legal challenge to the no-confidence vote ensued and ultimately made its way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). In June 2019, the CCJ ruled that the no-confidence vote was valid. The opposition had wanted elections to be held by September 2019, three months after the CCJ’s ruling. President Granger delayed announcement of the vote until the Guyana Elections Commission indicated in September 2019 that it would be ready to hold the elections by February 2020.
This is the first election since Guyana’s economy got a boost from the discovery of significant amounts of offshore oil. ExxonMobil leads a consortium that includes Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corporation and has been involved in oil and gas exploration in Guyana since 2008. Since 2015, the consortium has identified 15 commercially viable discoveries in the Stabroek Block, about 120 miles offshore. Production began in December 2019 and is expected to reach 120,000 barrels of oil per day (b/d) within several months and more than 750,000 b/d by 2025. Recoverable oil is estimated at more than 6 billion barrels.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Guyana could see an 86% growth in its economy 2020, with GDP almost doubling to $8.1 billion and per
capita income growing to over $10,000.