Guyana profile

President: Donald Ramotar

Guyana's President Donald Ramotar

Donald Ramotar, of the ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), was elected president in November 2011.

Mr Ramotar's election represented his party's fifth straight victory, though it lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 19 years, winning 32 out of 65 seats.

Mr Ramotar has been the General Secretary of the PPP/C since 1997 and was a political adviser to outgoing President Bharrat Jagdeo, who had held the post since 1999.

The PPP/C minority administration means that there could be problems in store for Mr Ramotar if the opposition parties form a united bloc against the government.

One analyst said a hung parliament was a good thing as it would prevent one race group dominating others.

The PPP/C gets most of its support from the Indo-Guyanese community, while the main opposition party, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), is backed mainly by Afro-Guyanese voters.

On being sworn in, Mr Ramotar said that having a minority government - the first time that this has happened since the country gained independence in 1966 - would test the maturity of Guyana's leaders, and he called on his fellow politicians to set aside partisanship and put the interests of the country as a whole first.

Mr Ramotar has pledged to continue his predecessor's policies, with their emphasis on improving social conditions and government services, especially in the fields of housing, education, health and energy security.

He is an economist by training.

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