Government

Guyana is a republic, divided into administrative regions, with an executive president. Legislative power in Guyana resides in a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, with 65 members directly elected by proportional representation. 40 of these are elected at a national level, while the other 25 are elected at a regional level. The president may dissolve the assembly and call elections at any time but no later than five years from its first sitting.

Authority is exercised by the president who appoints and supervises the prime minister (head of government) and other ministers. The president is not directly elected. Instead, parties presenting candidates for the assembly nominate a leader who will become president if that party achieves the highest number of votes. Although only the prime minister is required to be a member of the assembly, in practice most other ministers are members.

Guyana is divided into ten regions each headed by a chairman who presides over a regional democratic council.

The judicial system is based on English Common Law with elements of Roman-Dutch Law, and is presided over by the Supreme Court. The most serious cases appear before the High Court, others before the magistrates’ courts. Appeals are to the High Court, then the Court of Appeal, and finally to the Caribbean Court of the Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, which in 2005 succeeded the United Kingdom’s Privy Council as Guyana’s final court of appeal.