2020 Guyanese general election

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2020 Guyanese general election

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All 65 seats to the National Assembly
33 seats needed for a majority
  David Arthur Granger (21605566518) (cropped).jpg Irfaan Ali.png
Leader David A. Granger Irfaan Ali
Party PNC PPP
Alliance APNUAFC None
Leader since 30 July 2012 19 January 2019
Last election 50.30%, 33 seats 49.19%, 32 seats
Seats needed Steady Increase1

Incumbent President

David A. Granger
PNC



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General elections are due to be held in Guyana on 2 March 2020.[1] Early elections were planned after the government of David A. Granger lost a vote of no confidence by a margin of 33–32 on 21 December 2018,[2] the government having held a one-seat majority since the 2015 elections. However, one of its own MPs, Charrandas Persaud of the Alliance for Change (AFC), voted with the opposition.[2] Despite the parliamentary term expiring on 18 September 2019 and protests by the opposition, Granger announced on 25 September that the elections would be held on 2 March 2020.[1]

Background[edit]

Following the no-confidence motion, Attorney General Basil Williams filed a court case arguing that the no-confidence motion was invalid as an absolute majority of the 65 members of Parliament would constitute 34 votes rather than the 33 which the motion received.[3] He also argued that Charrandas Persaud, whose vote decided the motion in the opposition's favour, was ineligible to be an MP as he holds dual Guyanese-Canadian citizenship, which is not permitted under the constitution. On 31 January 2019, Acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire ruled that although Persaud was ineligible to sit in Parliament, the motion was nonetheless validly passed according to Article 165 of the Constitution, and the government of President Granger should have resigned in its aftermath to allow for early elections.[4] The Attorney General rejected the Acting Chief Justice's ruling and stated that he would appeal against it at the Court of Appeal.[5]

In February 2019, officials from the Guyana Elections Commission stated that there was not enough time left to organise elections by the constitutional deadline of mid-March. It was reported that the opposition might agree to postpone them until a later date.[6][7]

On 22 March 2019, the Court of Appeal overturned the Acting Chief Justice's ruling,[8] prompting the opposition People's Progressive Party (PPP/C) to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice, whose ruling on the matter would be final. On 18 June, the CCJ ruled that the no confidence vote had been validly passed by a majority of MPs, constitutionally necessitating fresh elections. Its ruling also stated that although Persaud may have been ineligible to be an MP due to his dual citizenship, his vote could not be nullified as the irregularity had not been taken up with the proper bodies within the designated timeframe following the 2015 elections.[9][10]

Electoral system[edit]

The 65 elected members of the National Assembly were elected using closed list proportional representation from a single nationwide 40-seat constituency and 10 sub-national constituencies with a total of 25 seats. Seats are allocated using the Hare quota.[11]

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.[12]

Campaign[edit]

On 19 January 2019, the PPP/C chose former Housing minister Irfaan Ali as its presidential candidate.[13]

On 16 June, the AFC chose Khemraj Ramjattan as its candidate for Prime Minister should the APNU-AFC coalition be returned to power with Granger as president.[14]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]