conventional long form Co-operative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form Guyana
former British Guiana

Digraph: GY

Type: republic

Capital: Georgetown

Administrative divisions: 10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo

Independence: 26 May 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Republic Day, 23 February (1970)

Constitution: 6 October 1980

Legal system: based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state Executive President Cheddi JAGAN (since 5 October 1992); First Vice President Sam HINDS (since 5 October 1992); election last held on 5 October 1992; results - Cheddi JAGAN was elected president since he was leader of the party with the most votes in the National Assembly elections
head of government Prime Minister Sam HINDS (since 5 October 1992)
cabinet Cabinet of Ministers; appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly elections last held on 5 October 1992 (next to be held in 1997); results - PPP 53.4%, PNC 42.3%, WPA 2%, TUF 1.2%; seats - (65 total, 53 elected) PPP 36, PNC 26, WPA 2, TUF 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature

Political parties and leaders: People's Progressive Party (PPP), Cheddi JAGAN; People's National Congress (PNC), Hugh Desmond HOYTE;; People's National Congress (PNC), Hugh Desmond HOYTE; Working People's Alliance (WPA), Eusi KWAYANA, Rupert ROOPNARINE; Democratic Labor Movement (DLM), Paul TENNASSEE; People's Democratic Movement (PDM), Llewellyn JOHN; National Democratic Front (NDF), Joseph BACCHUS; The United Force (TUF), Manzoor NADIR; United Republican Party (URP), Leslie RAMSAMMY; National Republican Party (NRP), Robert GANGADEEN; Guyana Labor Party (GLP), Nanda GOPAUL

Other political or pressure groups: Trades Union Congress (TUC); Guyana Council of Indian Organizations (GCIO); Civil Liberties Action Committee (CLAC)
note the latter two organizations are small and active but not well organized


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission Ambassador Dr. Ali Odeen ISHMAEL
chancery 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone (202) 265-6900 through 6903

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission Ambassador George F. Jones
embassy 99-100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingstown, Georgetown
mailing address P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown
telephone [592] (2) 54900 through 54909 and 57960 through 57969
FAX [592] (2) 58497

Flag: green with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long white arrowhead; there is a narrow black border between the red and white, and a narrow white border between the white and the green

The Government is a hybrid of the Westminister (parliamentary) and Philadelphia (presidential) systems. Legislative power rests in a unicameral National Assembly. There are 53 members chosen on the basis of proportional representation from national lists named by the political parties. An additional 12 members are elected by regional councils that are elected simultaneously with the National Assembly.

The President may dissolve the Assembly and call new elections at any time, but no later than five years from its first sitting; the term of office of the current Assembly therefore must end by December 17, 1997. Executive authority is exercised by the President, who appoints and supervises the Prime Minister and other ministers, and approval by the Assembly is not required. The President is not directly elected; each party presenting a slate of candidates for the Assembly must designate in advance a leader who will become President if that party receives the largest number of votes. Therefore any dissolution of the Assembly and election of a new Assembly can lead to a change in the Assembly majority and consequently a change in the Presidency. (note: The Prime Minister is the principal assistant of the President and leader of Government business in the National Assembly. In the absence of the President, the Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet.)

Only the Prime Minister is required to be a member of the Assembly; in practice, most other ministers are also members. Those who are not serve as nonelected members, which permits them to debate but not to vote.

The highest judicial body is the Court of Appeal, headed by a Chancellor of the Judiciary. The second level is the High Court, presided over by a Chief Justice. The Chancellor and the Chief Justice are appointed by the President.

For administrative purposes, Guyana is divided into 10 regions, each headed by a chairman who presides over a Regional Democratic Council. Local communities are administered by village or city councils.

Principal Government Officials

Executive President--Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan

Prime Minister--Hon. Samuel A. Hinds

Foreign Minister--Hon. Clement Rohee

Ambassador to the United States--Dr. Mohammed Ali Odeen Ishmael

Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Rudy Insanally

Guyana maintains an embassy in the United States at
2490 Tracy Place,
N. W., Washington, D.C. 20008
(tel. 202-276-6900)

, and the following constituent missions:

Consulate General and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza, 3rd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10017
(tel. 212-527-3232)

Honorary Consulate
1837 S. State Road 7
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33317

and Honorary Consulate
4929 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 265
Los Angeles, California 90010
(tel. 213-549-9106)