Guyana’s long election deadlock stirs fears of civil war

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Four months after the most important election in Guyana’s history, there is still no officially recognised winner. The paralysis is hitting the country’s fledgling oil industry and there are worries the tiny South American country might slide into a racially charged civil war.

The US has urged David Granger, the long-serving president, to “respect the results of democratic elections and step aside” to allow the opposition People’s Progressive party (PPP), and its candidate Irfaan Ali, to take over.

Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines and chairman of regional Caribbean bloc Caricom, said last week a “rogue clique” in Guyana was “playing with fire, commotion, disorder and civil war”.

“A small group of persons in and out of Guyana are seeking to hijack, in plain sight, the elections, and thus the country,” he warned in remarks he emphasised were his personal views rather than those of the bloc.