Guyana Has New President after Long Uncertainty

The victory of the candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in the elections of March 2 was confirmed after 122 days of a long process of counting votes filled with constant allegations of fraud and anomalies.

The final report of the Electoral Commission indicates that the PPP obtained 33 parliamentary seats, while the until now ruling coalition of the National Unit-Alliance for Change (UNPA-AFC), of the outgoing president, David Granger, achieved 31.

Shortly after the results were announced, Irfaan Ali, 40, a former housing titleholder in the previous PPP administration, was declared Guyana’s ninth chief executive.

Mark Phillips was also appointed as Prime Minister, former President Bharrat Jagdeo for the position of Vice President, and Anil Nandlall new Attorney General.

According to the final numbers, the PPP obtained 233,336 votes, compared to 217,920. Other minor parties totaled 5,214.

The political trajectory of the new head of the Guyanese Executive includes the performance, in previous governments, of the portfolios of Housing and Water, Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

He has been a member of the PPP for more than 20 years and in 2006 he moved to a seat in parliament.

The new president is a Doctor of Philosophy and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the West Indies.
In his government program for the elections, Irfaan Ali included as a priority the improvement of the economy, strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the performance of inclusive governance.

Another promise is the elimination of the Value Added Tax in areas such as electricity, water, medical care, construction materials, and agricultural, mining and forestry equipment.

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