When Guyana was declared a republic in 1970, the president was elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term and possessed largely ceremonial powers. After a 1980 referendum, the constitution was amended to make the president an executive post, and the president became known as the executive president. The leader of the majority party in the National Assembly of Guyana becomes president, and holds office for the legislature's duration—in practice, five years.
Presidents are counted beginning with President Arthur Chung in 1970. Executive presidents are counted beginning with President Forbes Burnham (first executive president) in 1980.