List of heads of state of Guyana

This is a list of the heads of state of Guyana, from the independence of Guyana in 1966 to the present day.

From 1966 to 1970 the head of state under the Constitution of 1966 was the queen of Guyana, Elizabeth II, who was also the queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in Guyana by a governor-general. Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth under the Constitution of 1970 and the monarch and governor-general were replaced by a ceremonial president, by that time.

Monarch (1966–1970)


The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

No. Portrait Name
Reign Royal House Prime minister(s)
Reign start Reign end Duration
1   Queen Elizabeth II
26 May 1966 23 February 1970 3 years, 273 days Windsor Burnham



The governor-general was the representative of the monarch in Guyana and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The governor-general was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. Since Guyana was granted independence by the Guyana Independence Act 1966, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous dominion and later promoted to independence as defined by the Statute of Westminster 1931, the governor-general was to be always appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Guyana without the involvement of the British government, with the sole exception of Richard Luyt, the former colonial governor, who served as governor-general temporarily until he was replaced by David Rose. In the event of a vacancy the Chancellor (the head of the judicial branch, serving directly above the Chief Justice of Guyana) would have served as the officer administering the government.

Following is a list of people who have served as Governor-General of Guyana.


^† Died in office.
  Denotes Acting Governor-General
No. Portrait Name
Term of office Monarch
Took office Left office Time in office
1   Sir Richard Luyt
26 May
16 December
204 days  
Elizabeth II
2   Sir David Rose
16 December
10 November
2 years, 329 days
  Sir Edward Luckhoo
10 November
23 February
105 days

President of Guyana


Under the Constitution of 1970, the first constitution of the Republic of Guyana, the president replaced the monarch as ceremonial head of state. The president was elected by the National Assembly for a six-year term. In the event of a vacancy the Chancellor (the head of the judicial branch, serving directly above the Chief Justice of Guyana) served as acting president. In 1980, the powers of the president were increased, with the establishment of the executive presidency.

Currently, the president is both head of state and head of government and, pursuant to article 91 of the Constitution, is directly elected on the basis of the votes cast in the general election. On Nomination Day, each list of contesting parties designate a member of their list as that party's presidential candidate. The presidential candidate whose party's list of candidates receives the most votes is elected president. In the event of a vacancy, the prime minister becomes president.

No. Portrait Name
Elected Term of office Political party Prime minister(s)
Took office Left office Time in office
Ceremonial President
1   Arthur Chung
1970 17 March 1970 6 October 1980 10 years, 203 days Independent Burnham
Executive President
2   Forbes Burnham
1980 6 October 1980 6 August 1985† 4 years, 304 days People's National Congress Reid
3   Desmond Hoyte
6 August 1985 9 October 1992 7 years, 64 days People's National Congress Green
4   Cheddi Jagan
1992 9 October 1992 6 March 1997† 4 years, 148 days People's Progressive Party/Civic Hinds
5   Sam Hinds
(born 1943)
6 March 1997 19 December 1997 288 days People's Progressive Party/Civic J. Jagan
6   Janet Jagan
1997 19 December 1997 11 August 1999
1 year, 235 days People's Progressive Party/Civic Hinds
7   Bharrat Jagdeo
(born 1964)
11 August 1999 3 December 2011 12 years, 114 days People's Progressive Party/Civic Hinds
8   Donald Ramotar
(born 1950)
2011 3 December 2011 16 May 2015 3 years, 164 days People's Progressive Party/Civic
9   David Granger
(born 1945)
2015 16 May 2015 2 August 2020[a] 5 years, 78 days People's National Congress Reform
10   Irfaan Ali
(born 1980)
2020 2 August 2020 Incumbent 3 years, 327 days People's Progressive Party/Civic Phillips

Timeline since 1970

Irfaan AliDavid GrangerDonald RamotarBharrat JagdeoJanet JaganSam HindsCheddi JaganDesmond HoyteForbes BurnhamArthur Chung




  1. ^ Lost confidence vote on 21 December 2018; see 2020 Guyanese general election