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Caribbean & Central America - July 2020

REGION: Testing the limits of democracy

Suriname and Guyana, two countries on the verge of possibly great oil wealth, have both held general elections this year: Guyana on 2 March and Suriname and 25 May. It is, perhaps, a surprise that Suriname, whose outgoing-president Dési Bouterse is a former military dictator who has been convicted of murder and drug-trafficking, should have experienced the smoother transition of power (at least so far). Guyana’s President David Granger, on the face of it an altogether more respectable politician, has used every ploy he can since losing a vote of no confidence 18 months ago to drag out his time in power. Unfortunately, this testing of the limits of democracy seems to be catching, with the opposition in St Kitts & Nevis refusing to accept its defeat in the 5 June general election.

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