Guyana News & Current Events
Racial Disputes, Border Disputes Hinder Progress
Guyana's potential economic development was hurt in 2000 as border disputes with both Venezuela to the west and Suriname to the east heated up. Suriname and Guyana have been unable to resolve the border dispute in an oil-rich coastal area. Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez has revived the 19th-century claim to more than half of Guyana's territory.
In March 2001, Bharrat Jagdeo won a second term in elections that underscored Guyana's bitter racial tensions. The reelection of Jagdeo, an ethnic East Indian, caused rioting among Afro-Guyanese, who claimed widespread election fraud.
In Jan.–Feb. 2005, the country experienced its worst natural disaster. More than a third of the country's population was affected by devastating flooding.
Ramotar Elected President, but His Party Fails to Win Majority
In Nov. 2011, Donald Ramotar, the General Secretary of the People's Progressive Party (PPP), was elected president. Ramotar was the PPP's unanimous choice as the party's presidential candidate. Ramotar was elected by a slim margin while his party fell one seat short of a parliamentary majority, which means two opposition parties would now hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
The opposition parties said that the presidential election had been tampered with. However, Guyana's electoral authority reported that the election was fair.
Opposition Wins by Narrow Margin in 2015 Elections
In the 2015 elections, the opposition party, A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change, won by a narrow margin, taking 50% of the vote. President Ramotar's party, the People's Progressive Party, received 49%. Leader of the opposition, David Granger, became president, which ended the People's Progressive Party's 23 year rule.
A military officer, Granger became Commander of the Guyana Defense Force in 1979. He retired from the military in 1992, and founded a news magazine, the Guyana Review, that same year. He served as the magazine's managing editor. Afro-Guyanese, Granger has vowed to ease racial tensions in the country.