Guyana. According to Countryaah, the capital of Guyana is Georgetown. The first six months of the December 1997 presidential elections were marked by great political concern. Opposition candidate Desmond Hoyte (People’s National Congress, PNC) did not accept Janet Jagans (People’s Progressive Party, PPP) victory but accused her of electoral fraud and demanded reelection. His party boycotted all congressional work until August. The suspicions of irregularities were reinforced by the fact that Jagan swore to the presidency before the final election result was clear. In the capital Georgetown there were riots and bomb attacks.
Although foreign election observers had no objections to the election, a commission was set up with representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – the common market of the Caribbean states – to monitor the vote. At the same time, it was agreed to implement constitutional reforms and new elections within 36 months. In its June 2 report, the Commission noted that the elections were conducted correctly.
The crisis has caused foreign companies and tourists to avoid Guyana, and GDP growth for 1998 may be reduced by half to 3%. At the center of the conflict are ethnic issues. PPP has long been the language pipe for Guyanese of Indian descent while PNC is the party of blacks. Janet Jagan, the widow of Cheddi Jagan (president 1992-97), is regarded with great suspicion by many: she is a woman, white, born in the United States and of Jewish descent, but has lived in Guyana since 1943.