Thousands gathered on May 16, 2015, to witness the swearing in of Brigadier David Arthur Granger as Guyana’s eighth president after five days’ wait for results. President Granger was sworn in less than an hour after the Guyana Elections Commission announced that his coalition—A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) won the 2015 general and regional elections.
APNU+AFC won with 207,200 votes, while the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which formed the previous government, secured 202,694 votes of the 410,578 valid votes cast. This represented an
APNU+AFC victory over PPP/C, which ruled for 23 years, by 4,506 votes.
The APNU+AFC will have 33 seats in Guyana’s 65-seat Parliament, while the PPP/C will have 32 seats. None of the other parties that contested the elections have won enough votes to get a seat in Parliament. President Granger now heads a coalition government that vows to be a government for all the people and rule in a way that will allow Guyana to maximize its full potential.
“I shall be a good president for all the people of Guyana,” Mr. Granger said after taking the oath of office for his five-year term.
Former President Jimmy Carter, who was in Guyana but left due to illness, said in a prepared statement, “I would like to congratulate President David Granger and the APNU/AFC coalition on their success in the 2015 election. I have great expectations that the new government will reach out and promote healing and reconciliation in Guyana. It is now time for all Guyanese to unite and work together to realize the great potential of their country.”
Guyana gained independence from Britain on May 26, 1966, and had historically voted along racial lines with Indians for PPP and Blacks for the PNC. Hopefully, a new beginning has dawned on Guyana.
Words: Abena Rockcliffe
Photos: Arian Browne