Ayoub mzee with His Excellency Laleshwar KN Singh, CCH-The High Commissioner for Guyana in the United Kingdom
The British administration merged the three colonies into British Guiana in 1831, but retained the Dutch administrative, legislative and legal system, whereby the country was directed by a governor, advised by councils of plantation owners. After the abolition of slavery, Indian and smaller numbers of Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese indentured labourers were brought in to work the estates. In 1928 a legislative council, with members appointed by the British government, was established, but members were elected after extensions of the franchise in 1943 and 1945. The country was by this period among the most advanced of the British colonial territories in the region, and became the headquarters of several regional educational and political institutions. CARICOM headquarters is located in Georgetown.
In 1953, a constitution with a bicameral legislature and ministerial system, based on elections under universal adult suffrage, was introduced. There was a general election, won by the People's Progressive Party (PPP), led by Dr Cheddi Jagan. Shortly after the 1953 elections, the UK suspended the constitution, decided to mark time in the advance towards self-government, and administered the country with a government composed largely of nominated members.
When, in 1957, the UK did introduce elected members, the legislature voted for more representative government. The UK called a constitutional conference which was held in 1960 and provided for a new constitution with full internal self-government. In the elections held in August 1961 under this constitution, the PPP again gained the majority. The UK held further constitutional conferences in 1962 and 1963, to settle terms for independence. The political parties failed to reach consensus.
The UK then selected a form of proportional representation which was aimed at preventing the People's Progressive Party (PPP) from forming the government. (It was also argued that, at this period of the 'Cuba crisis' with near-war between the US and USSR, the UK was under pressure to avoid allowing a Socialist government to come to power in Guyana.). Despite renewed disturbances, elections were held under the PR system, and brought to power a coalition of the People's National Congress led by Forbes Burnham and The United Force (TUF).
The new government finalised independence arrangements at a further constitutional conference, which was boycotted by the PPP. Guyana gained independence and joined the Commonwealth in May 1966, and became a Republic four years later.
Guyana is a Republic, divided into ten (10) administrative regions, with an Executive President and parliamentary legislature. The 1980 Constitution, amended in 2001, provides for an executive presidency and a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, with 65 members directly elected by proportional representation: 40 at a national level and 25 at a regional level. The normal life of a parliament is five years. The President appoints the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet (which may include those from outside the Assembly), who are responsible to Parliament. The President is the leader of the largest party in the Assembly
UN Security Council Resolution on Yemen
Mark C. TonerDeputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
October 21, 2011
Today the international community sent a clear, unified message that the time has come for President Saleh to allow the Yemeni people to live free from violence and insecurity. UN Security Council Resolution 2014 on Yemen is an important step toward realizing a brighter future for all Yemeni people. The international community must continue to stand together, speak with one voice, and support all Yemeni citizens who want a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous future.
The Yemeni people have been deprived of their universal human rights for too long, and too many innocent Yemenis have been killed. We urge the Government of Yemen to investigate those responsible for violence against peaceful protestors and hold them accountable for their crimes. The only way to meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people is immediately to begin a transition of power in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council's initiative.