The 1980 constitution divides Guyana into ten regions, each having a Regional Democratic Council and a regional chairman. Regional councillors serve five-year terms concurrent with the term of the National Assembly, and the councillors of every region elect from among themselves one member to sit on the National Assembly and two members to sit on the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs. The executive president may suspend or dissolve any Regional Democratic Council at will. The system of local governments was designed to decentralize the government and place greater political power in the hands of the people. Resistance by the president to sharing power and the regional governments' fear of dismissal without recourse have, in effect, severely limited the capability of regional government to enact policy.
Six towns in Guyana are incorporated: Georgetown, Corriverton, Linden, New Amsterdam, Bartica, and Anna Regina, northwest of the mouth of the Essequibo River. Each town has a mayor and town council, which are responsible for maintenance of the municipality. However, city officials lack a political mandate or any real power beyond the exercise of municipal duties and are usually political appointees of the PNC.
|Country Studies main page | Guyana Country Studies main page|