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National Assembly

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Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 28 August 2006
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly four months after the normal expiry of the members' term of office. Following constitutional amendments in May 2006 the Guyana Elections Commission was given an extra month to prepare for the 2006 elections originally due by 4 August 2006.
On 2 May 2006 President Bharrat Jagdeo dissolved the National Assembly. Elections originally scheduled for 4 August 2006 were subsequently held on 28 August 2006.

In the last elections in 2001 the ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won 34 seats in the 65-member National Assembly while the main opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNCR) took 27. Violent incidents followed street protests by PNCR supporters amid widespread criticism of irregularities in the elections.

Ten parties contested the 2006 elections. The principal parties were the ruling PPP/C led by President Bharrat Jagdeo and the PNCR led by Mr. Robert Corbin which renamed itself PNCR-One Guyana (PNCR-1G).

In recent elections voting in Guyana has largely taken place along ethnic lines. Support for the PPP/C is high among the Guyanese of Indian descent who account for 50 per cent of the population while PNCR-1G has strong backing among the 36 per cent of the population of African origin. A new party the Alliance For Change (AFC) was formed in October 2005 by former members of the PPP/C. It urged voters not to vote along ethnic lines under the slogan "Vote Change. Not Race".

The main issues in the 2006 elections were the economy crime and drug trafficking. The PPP/C called on voters to approve its economic policies which have reduced the country's foreign debt from the equivalent of 750 per cent of GDP to 12 per cent over the last 14 years. The PNCR-1G accused the PPP/C-led government of failing to fight drug trafficking.

The Government declared polling day a public holiday to further encourage citizens to vote. Fear of election-related violence caused many shops to remain closed on election day and the army was deployed to ensure security. Nevertheless no incidents were reported on polling day.

Approximately half a million people were eligible to vote in the country of 730 000 inhabitants. Turnout was recorded at 68.82 per cent the lowest in recent years.

Some 160 international observers monitored the polls. The Organization of American States (OAS) which sent 120 observers said the elections went off without any particular irregularities. The OAS nevertheless noted a lack of information provided to voters in some polling stations. The Commonwealth Secretariat's long-term observer mission congratulated the people of Guyana for their "commitment to the democratic process".

The final results gave 36 seats to the ruling PPP/C two more than in the 2001 elections. The PNCR-1G took 22 the AFC won five while the remainder went to small parties. The PPP/C formed a government with the United Force (TUF) which had won one seat.

As the candidate of the winning party list Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo was re-elected as President and was officially sworn in on 9 September 2006 for a second five-year term.

The newly-elected National Assembly held its first session on 28 September 2006 and re-elected Mr. Hari Narayen Ramkarran as its Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 128 August 2006
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
338'839 (68.82%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 183'867 55.08
People's National Congress Reform-One Guyana (PNCR-1G) 114'608 34.34
Alliance for Change (AFC) 28'366 8.50
Guyana Action Party/ Rise Organise And Rebuild (GAP/ROAR) 4'249 1.27
The United Force (TUF) 2'694 0.81
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total National Geographic
People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 36 21 15
People's National Congress Reform-One Guyana (PNCR-1G) 22 13 9
Alliance for Change (AFC) 5 4 1
Guyana Action Party/ Rise Organise And Rebuild (GAP/ROAR) 1 0 1
The United Force (TUF) 1 0 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Under the Constitution elections must be held for all seats in the National Assembly within four months of its dissolution. In order to expunge the names of thousands of dead and missing people from the electoral rolls the Guyana Elections Commission was given an extra month to prepare for the 2006 elections which had originally been due by 4 August 2006.

In addition to the 65 elected members three non-elected ministers and the Speaker are also members of parliament bringing the total number to 69. Twenty women were directly elected.
Source: National Assembly (30.10.2006)

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