1980 Guyanese general election

General elections were held in Guyana on 15 December 1980.[1] The result was a victory for the People's National Congress, which won 41 of the 53 directly-elected seats. However, the PNC's victory was the result of fraud as the government had direct control of the elections.[2] Voter turnout was 82.3%.[1]

1980 Guyanese general election

← 1973 15 December 1980 1985 →

53 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly
33 seats needed for a majority
Turnout406,265 (82.31%)
  First party Second party Third party
  Forbes Burnham (1966).jpg Cheddi Jagan Anefo.jpg
Leader Forbes Burnham Cheddi Jagan Marcellus Fielden Singh
Leader since 13 February 1955 1 January 1950 January 1969
Seats won
53 / 65
10 / 65
2 / 65
Seat change Increase16 Decrease4 Steady
Popular vote 312,988 78,414 11,612
Percentage 77.66% 19.46% 2.88%

1980 Guyanese general election - Results.svg
Results by district

President before election

Forbes Burnham

Elected President

Forbes Burnham

Electoral systemEdit

The elections followed the adoption of a new constitution which changed the presidency from a ceremonial post to an executive one and enlarged the National Assembly. In addition to the existing 53 members elected by proportional representation in a nationwide constituency, the National Assembly was expanded to include ten members appointed by the regional councils, created under the new constitution and elected on the same date as the national members, and two appointed by the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs, an umbrella body representing the regional councils also created by the new constitution.[3]

The President was elected by a first-past-the-post double simultaneous vote system, whereby each list nominated a presidential candidate and the candidate heading the list that received the most votes was elected president.[3]


People's National Congress312,98877.664110253+16
People's Progressive Party78,41419.46100010–4
United Force11,6122.8820020
Valid votes403,01499.20
Invalid/blank votes3,2510.80
Total votes406,265100.00
Registered voters/turnout493,55082.31
Source: Nohlen, Chandisingh


  1. ^ a b Dieter Nohlen (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p363 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ Nohlen, p355-359
  3. ^ a b "Guyana's new Constitution and the elections of 1980: A case of people's power?", Rajendra Chandisingh