The Role of Law as a Mechanism for Dispute Resolution: An Analysis of The Election Controversy in Guyanha

Joan Mars, University of Michigan, Flint

This paper will discuss the controversies surrounding the 1998 general elections in Guyana and the disputes concerning the election results. Each of the two major political parties, the People's Progressive Party, and the People's National Congress, claimed to have won the election and the former currently holds office under the disputed results. After massive popular protests and disturbances immediately following the results, the People's National Congress contested the election results in court, and a judgement was recently handed down invalidating the alleged victory of the People's Progressive Party. Electoral law and practice as well as the circumstances surrounding the disputed election will be reviewed to explain the causes of the disputes and the contest of the validity of the results. The court case will be analysed to explain the reasons for the decision, and the impact of the decision on the political parties involved, the electoral process, and the society at large.

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Updated 05/20/2006