After the definitive assignment of the territory to Great Britain in 1815, it was organized as a colony in 1832, with Georgetown as its capital. Numerous Asian immigrants, especially Indians, devoted themselves to agriculture, without however merging with previous African settlers (former slaves), and the population developed in watertight compartments. Internal self-government was granted in 1953 and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), led by Cheddi Jagan, triumphed in the elections held the same year., of Marxist faith, but disliked by the Afro community. Riots broke out, the British governor canceled the election results and for a time administered the territory with provisional rules. Jagan nevertheless ascended to the government, after the electoral successes achieved in 1957 and 1961. In 1964 the British governor introduced the proportional electoral system: as a consequence of this change, the elections of the same year brought to power the two coalitioned opposition parties: the National people’s Congres s (PNC), expression of the African community, and the United Force (UF), the European party. Prime Minister became LFS Burnham (PNC) which, having concluded the negotiations with London, in May 1966 was able to proclaim independence. The Constitution of 1970 established the Republic, of which A. Chung was appointed president. Despite the solid parliamentary majority, the socio-economic difficulties induced Burnham (always reconfirmed head of the government) to introduce a state of emergency in 1977. With the constitutional amendment of July 1978, the premier then effectively assumed full powers, including (from October 1980) the presidency of the Republic.
In the general elections of December 1985, according to usaers, the PNC was still the winner and Hugh Desmond Hoyte was appointed president of the Republic, in place of his predecessor who died in August, and Hamilton Green as prime minister. The liberalization of economy and the improvement of relations with Venezuela, troubled by the territorial dispute over the Essequibo region. However, progress was achieved only in the field of international relations, both for the normalization of relations with Venezuela and Brazil, and for the entry of Guyana into the OAS (Organization of American States) in 1991, while no progress was made on the economic front. In 1992 the presidential and legislative elections recorded the victory of the PPP, which saw the office of President of the Republic assigned to Cheddi Jagan and that of Prime Minister to Samuel Hinds. On the death of Cheddi Jagan (March 1997), Prime Minister Samuel Hinds succeeded him ad interim, who handed over the leadership of the government to Janet Jagan, the widow of the late president. Following the presidential and legislative elections at the end of 1997, Samuel Hinds nevertheless returned to the post of prime minister, while Janet Jagan was elected president of the Republic. After starting with the leader of the opposition a program of constitutional reforms, in August 1999 the Jagan resigned, instructing Bharat Jagdeo, Minister of Finance, to replace her until the expiry of the presidential term. The presidential elections of March 2001 reconfirmed Bharat Jagdeo as head of state and the PPP, supported by the Indian and Asian component, managed for the third time to defeat its historical rival, the PNC. In August 2006, the presidential elections were held, won by Jagdeo with 54.6% of the votes, while those of December 2011 were won by the candidate of the PPP, Donald Ramotar.
CULTURE: GENERAL INFORMATION
Ample evidence of the historical events of Guyana can be traced today in the cultural characteristics of the country. The ethnic mosaic, a legacy of colonization, is reflected in the difficult social coexistence, even if, at the same time, the extreme variety of traditions found in the country is due to this same miscellany, starting with the religious syncretism that includes the presence of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, as well as a spirituality typical of the Amerindian peoples. In the arts and crafts, Guyana stands out among the countries of the Caribbean area. The works of the major national artists (Ronald Savory, Aubrey Williams, Stanley Greaves) are preserved in the National Art Collection, while the typical artifacts (pottery, wood carving, jewelry and jewelry) can be found in the numerous markets of the cities and villages. Georgetown is also home to the Guyana National Museum, mainly dedicated to indigenous archaeological and cultural heritage, and the Museum of African Heritage. The architectural landscape is equally varied: from Umana Yana, a huge hut that hosts shows and exhibitions, to the Gothic-colonial style City Hall in Georgetown, to the military forts built by the Dutch. In the literary framework of the twentieth century, Guyana has expressed authors of international level, including Martin Carter, Edward R. Braithwaite, Wilson Harris, Walter Rodney, although many of the writers had to leave the country for a long time due to the political situation. Among the most popular sporting activities are football and cricket, while a large part of the population loves to play dominoes. Finally, the multi-ethnic character is reflected in also in the numerous celebrations and festivals (usually of a religious nature, but also dedicated to the conservation of nature) that take place throughout the year, and in the culinary field, which includes traditional Indian dishes (based on curry), African, Oriental. The favorite “drink” is rum.