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British Guiana general election, 1953

Updated: 2017-05-30T19:19Z
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General elections were held in British Guiana on 27 April 1953.[1] They were the first held under universal suffrage and resulted in a victory for the People's Progressive Party (PPP), which won 18 of the 24 seats in the new House of Assembly. Its leader, Cheddi Jagan, became Prime Minister.[1]

Electoral system

Constitutional reforms as a result of the Waddington Commission had led to the creation of the House of Assembly to replace the Legislative Council. The new House had 28 members; 24 members elected in single member constituencies, a speaker appointed by the Governor and three ex officio members (the Chief Secretary, the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary).[2]


The PPP ran candidates in 22 of the 24 constituencies, failing to contest the two interior constituencies due to a lack of money. The National Democratic Party contested 15 constituencies and the People's National Party eight.[3] A total of 85 independents,[4] including four United Guiana Party candidates, also contested the elections.[3] The United Workers and Farmers Party did run as a party, but contested some seats as independents.[3]


People's Progressive Party77,69551.0418
National Democratic Party20,03213.162
People's National Party3,0001.970
Invalid/blank votes3,995
Registered voters/turnout208,93974.77
Source: GECOM

Elected members

1 – North WestWilliam Alfred PhangIndependent
2 – PomeroonThomas Sherwood WheatingIndependent
3 – Western EssequiboJanet JaganPeople's Progressive PartyDeputy Speaker
4 – Essequibo IslandsTheophilus LeeIndependent
5 – Bartica and InteriorEugene Francis CorreiaNational Democratic Party
6 – Demerara-EssequiboFred BowmanPeople's Progressive Party
7 – West Bank DemeraraJai Narine SinghPeople's Progressive PartyMinister of Local Government and Social Welfare
8 – East Bank DemeraraJoseph Prayag LachhmansinghPeople's Progressive PartyMinister of Health and Housing
9 – Upper Demerara RiverCharles Albert CarterIndependent
10 – Georgetown SouthAshton ChasePeople's Progressive PartyMinister of Labour, Industry and Commerce
11 – Georgetown South CentralClinton Reginald WongPeople's Progressive Party
12 – Georgetown CentralJessie Irma Sampson BurnhamPeople's Progressive Party
13 – Georgetown NorthFrank Obermuller van SertimaPeople's Progressive Party
14 – Georgetown North-EastForbes BurnhamPeople's Progressive PartyMinister of Education
15 – West Central DemeraraRam KarranPeople's Progressive Party
16 – Central DemeraraSydney Evanson KingPeople's Progressive PartyMinister of Communications and Works
17 – East Central DemeraraJane Phillips-GayPeople's Progressive Party
18 – Mahaica-MahaiconyChandra Sama PersaudPeople's Progressive Party
19 – Western BerbiceSamuel Mahabali LatchmansinghPeople's Progressive Party
20 – New AmsterdamRudy KendallNational Democratic Party
21 – Berbice RiverAjodha SinghPeople's Progressive Party
22 – Eastern BerbiceRobert Stanley Hanoman SinghPeople's Progressive Party
23 – Corentyne CoastCheddi JaganPeople's Progressive PartyLeader of the House and Minister of Agriculture, Forests, Lands and Mines
24 – Corentyne RiverMohamed KhanPeople's Progressive Party


After assuming power Jagan embarked on implementing a series of policies that involved radical social reform, mainly directed at the colonial oligarchy. The British colonial authorities sent in troops in response to the alleged threat of a Marxist revolution. Governor Alfred Savage suspended the constitution in October (only 133 days after it had come into force) and set up a transitional government of conservative politicians, businessmen and civil servants.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p354 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ Historical information events and dates on the Parliament of Guyana from 1718 to 2006 Parliament of Guyana
  3. ^ a b c Odeen Ishmael (2013) The Guyana Story, Xlibris Corporation, p126
  4. ^ 1953 Election GECOM
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