This article was first published on the 29th of March, 2020.Last updated: March 30, 2020 at 11:42 am
The two main political parties that have ruled Guyana since independence from Britain are the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R). The PPP/C took office from the PNC/R in the year 1992 – after 28 years of PNC/R rule.
Some PPP/C supporters have claimed that the United States and England had helped the PNC/R to rig the elections and stay in power from 1964 to 1992. In fact, some PPP/C politicians have alleged that the United States had offered an apology to Guyana for its role in helping the PNC/R to stay in power. Although I could not find any documentation as yet to back up the apology, there are documentations published on the US government website that admits to US involvement in helping to keep the PNC/R in power.
It is understood that the United States and England had helped the PNC/R stay in power because they believed that the then PPP/C leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, held communist ideologies, and they feared that the leaders of the PPP/C might have turned Guyana into a communist state.
The report further goes on to explain the United States‘ direct role in helping the PNC/R defeat the PPP/C.
The U.S. Government’s covert funding and technical expertise were designed to play a decisive role in the registration of voters likely to vote against Jagan. Burnham’s and D’Aguiar’s supporters were registered in large numbers, helping to elect an anti-Jagan coalition. Read Report.
When the U.S. Government learned that Burnham was going to use fraudulent absentee ballots to continue in power in the 1968 elections, it advised him against such a course of action, but did not try to stop him. Read Report
In 1992, the international community, including the Carter Center, helped to mediate Guyana’s elections and ensure a free and fair electoral process. In fact, an official report published on the US Embassy Website states that:
The PNC was in power from independence until 1992 through tight centralized party control and rigged elections. In 1992, international mediation led to credible elections and a change in government to the PPP/Civic (PPP/C) party. Read Report.
After winning the elections in 1992, the PPP/C remained in power until 2015. The PNC/R, unable to win a fair election against the PPP/C, teamed up with about six other political parties and renamed itself A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). It subsequently joined forces with yet another political party, called the Alliance for Change (AFC) and renamed itself APNU/AFC.
In 2015, the APNU/AFC won the national elections and went into power. In December of 2018, the APNU/AFC fell by a no-confidence motion tabled by the PPP/C. Guyana’s constitution stipulates that, in the event that the government falls by a no-confidence motion, it assumes caretaker status and must call new elections within 3 months. However, the APNU/AFC breached the constitution and remains in office up to today, 29th of March 2020 – even while the March 2, 2020 elections are being contested in court.