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Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. Donald RAMOTAR was elected president in 2011.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Conventional short form Guyana
Former British Guiana

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name Georgetown
Geographic coordinates 6 48 N, 58 09 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo

Independence
26 May 1966 (from the UK)

Constitution
6 October 1980

Legal system
Common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Donald RAMOTAR (since 03 December 2011);
Head of government
Prime Minister Samuel HINDS (since October 1992, except for a period as chief of state after the death of President Cheddi JAGAN on 6 March 1997)
Cabinet
Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature
Elections
President elected by popular vote as leader of a party list in parliamentary elections, which must be held at least every five years (no term limits); elections last held on 28 August 2006 (next to be held by August 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results
Donald RAMOTAR elected president, percent of vote 48.6%

Legislative branch
Unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members elected by popular vote, also not more than 4 non-elected non-voting ministers and 2 non-elected non-voting parliamentary secretaries appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held by November 2016)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - PPP/C 48.6%, APNU 40%, AFC 10.3%, other 1.1%; seats by party - PPP/C 32, APNU 26, AFC 7

Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, with right of final appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

Political parties and leaders
Alliance for Change or AFC [Khemraj RAMJATTAN]; Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]; A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David GRANGER]; People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Donald RAMOTAR]; Rise, Organize, and Rebuild or ROAR [Ravi DEV]; The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]; The Unity Party [Joey JAGAN]; Vision Guyana [Peter RAMSAROOP]; Working People's Alliance or WPA [Clive THOMAS]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Amerindian People's Association; Guyana Bar Association; Guyana Citizens Initiative; Guyana Human Rights Association; Guyana Public Service Union or GPSU; Private Sector Commission; Trades Union Congress

International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Bayney KARRAN
Chancery
2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX [1] (202) 232-1297
Consulate(s) general New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador D. Brent HARDT
Embassy
US Embassy, 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
Mailing address
P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
Telephone [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX [592] 225-8497

Flag description
Green, with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance

National symbol(s)
Canje pheasant (hoatzin); jaguar

National anthem
Name
"Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains"
Lyrics/music
Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER
Note Adopted 1966


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  Guyana (Georgetown):


  GPS points from Guyana (Georgetown)

Kwabana Upper Demerara-berbice Region

Distress Creek Mahaica-berbice Region

Bendorf Essequibo Islands-west Demerara Region

Regentback Demerara-mahaica Region

Jacob Shoal Essequibo Islands-west Demerara Region

Vrekenhorst East Berbice-corentyne Region

Mataruki River Upper Takutu-upper Essequibo Region

Kuruduni River Upper Demerara-berbice Region




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