Country Listing

Guyana Table of Contents


Political Parties

People's National Congress


Billboard promoting progress and the PNC
Courtesy Inter-American Development Bank (David Mangurian)

The PNC was formed in 1957 when Forbes Burnham broke away from the PPP. The PNC represents the country's Afro-Guyanese community and many of Guyana's intellectuals. The PNC was the main partner in the coalition government formed in 1964 and has been the outright winner of every election held since then. The party held fiftythree seats after the 1980 elections. After the 1985 elections, the PNC held fifty-four seats in the National Assembly--forty-two elected seats and all of the twelve appointed seats (see table 8, Appendix A). The party came under the leadership of Desmond Hoyte following the death of Forbes Burnham in 1985 (see Independence and the Burnham Era , ch. 1).

Ideologically, the PNC has swung from socialism to middle-of- the-road capitalism several times. Although Burham professed leftist views, the party originally adopted a procapitalist policy as an alternative to the PPP's socialism and to attract members of the Afro-Guyanese middle class. In the mid-1970s, Burnham stated that the PNC was socialist and committed to the nationalization of foreign-owned businesses and to government control of the economy. In the late 1980s, Executive President Hoyte declared that his predecessor's policies had bankrupted the country and that the PNC would again encourage private investment.

Data as of January 1992