Guyana’s opposition coalition wins parliament polls

Georgetown, Guyana (IANS): A coalition of opposition parties won the parliament elections held in Guyana last Monday, ending the People’s Progressive Party’s more than 20 years in power.

According to the final results released on Saturday by the Guyana Elections Commission, the coalition made up of the Alliance for Change and the Partnership for National Unity received 207,200 votes, while the PPP got 202,694, Efe news agency reported.

After waiting for the 24 hours established for presenting any allegations, the Elections Commission announced Saturday that David Granger, 69, a retired army general, could be sworn in as this South American country’s eighth head of state.

Figures provided by election authorities showed that a total of 412,012 ballots were cast in the elections, which were held last Monday and whose provisional results were challenged by the now ex-president Donald Ramotar, a person of Indian origin, and his party, which has been in power for 22 years.

The four other parties contesting the elections received a total of 2,118 votes.

Guyana Electoral Commissioner Keith Lowenfield told a press conference that the coalition won 33 of the 65 seats in the Guyanese parliament, while the 32 remaining seats went to the PPP.

After these figures were released, Ramotar, 65, refused to accept defeat and insisted that irregularities were observed in the recount of votes – which was supervised by several international missions.

Ethnic Indians comprise 43.5 percent of Guyana’s population of over 750,000. Most of them are descendants of Indians who had migrated from India is the 19th and early 20th centuries to work as indentured labour in sugarcane fields.