BRITISH GUIANA APPROACHES A CRITICAL ELECTION

Created: 11/20/1964

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SF^EGlAb. REPORT

GUIANA

A CRITICAL ELECTION

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THIS MATERIAL CONTAINS INFORMATION AFFEi FnuShe NATIONAL DEFENSE OF THE UNITED|STM WITHlB%lHE MEANING OF THE ESPIONAOEJkffW5TSfiC, THE TBrNSMIS-

l on or'relation of which in anyj#nker to

ERSON IS PTOHIJrffeD BY LAW.

DISSEMINATION CO^OlS

This documenV^UST NOT BE RELEASEDT^FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. If marked withj"ail^ccordance with Ihe provision* ofheJoWnr must be handled within thelimitation so imposed.

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GUIANARITICAL ELECTION

New trends with disturbing portents campaign forecember elections In torn British Guiana.

mark the

The election presently procl&es tounstable, multiparty coalitloo governmentForbes Buroham's People's National Prime Minister Cheddl Jagan'sProgressive Party (PPP),Is laying the groundwork to be aopposition. The balance of evidencethe PPP will try by violence and otherto make it impossible for anyeither to rule constructively or tothe economic ravages of seven vears.

on_n

There are seven parties currently contesting next month'sPPP and six opposition groups.the opposition are two old-line political parties, thePNC, led by Burn-ham, and the Conservative,multl-racial United Force (UF) under Peter D'Aguiar. Of the other four (see page two) three sprang into existence only this year to take advantage of ansystem that favors small parties and to exploitwith the PPP. The mostIs the East IndianParty led by Balrara Singh

8ml.

All parties ar ing throughout the since theeats camera1 legislature vided according to share of the total Previous elections single-member const tern copied from Bri the well-organized vantage and enabled the last three elec the last one, held PPP won an absolute tary majority with seats, althoughercent of th vote.

In this year's election,f

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voters are expected to go to the polls. The British nave oado extensive preparations including the stationing oftroops both in theand in nearby territories, to ensure fair and orderly

Under the newotes are neededa seat, hence theof snailvoting will be forrather than In addition,be no by-elections inas vacancies willbe filled by the

In British Guiana, voters havetended to voteto their race, and next ninth's election will be no Thehis time, however. will be the questions of economicand the PPP's increasingly pro-Communist coloration under Jagan's rule. Both the PNC and the UP are staking their big pitch on promises of economic improvement, more competent, and heavy reliance onassistance. Ral is also telling East Indiana that Jaganertain loser and that the only way East Indians can have influence in the new government is to support bis Justice Party.

The PPP has concentrated on blaming most of the country's difficulties on somebodytbe opposition, the unions, the British, the US.

The campaign internal splits, difficult tor defec and only prevented ing suit.

Problems of the PPP

PPP's almost panicky tactics reflect deep political and racialesult of these ies. one PPPearly this year severe arm-twisting two more from follow.

including

ienment to cabinet jobs^

Another internal problem for the PPP stens fromof Negroes at thelevel. Although the bulk of PPP support has always been from rurafiast Indians Negroes have been judiciously placed in

prominent positions

A measure oftatement be made last month in which he asserted, for the first time in public, that the PPP isommunist >art:

The PNC Program

The People's Nationalis entertaining high hopes of emerging as the big winner in the forthcoming election.

PNC's main appeal, as always, is to ttie Negrowhose loyalty it is.to hold.

its problems, the PPP's situation may be restored somewhat by the recent release of some of the best organizers who were taken into custody last summer fo_r. fomenting racial

All this is notto promote governmental stability or end the racial strife that has periodically erupted with mounting ferocity

Tbe PNC isajor effort toassive turnout of its supporters on election

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The inducement is the promise of better living stand-ards to be wroughtariety of reforms andprograms. These include proposals to strengthen the role of local government, boost farm cooperatives, modernize education, construct moreexpand road-buildingand improve rural water supplies. There is also talk ofnew city" in the interior.

The PNC vaguely asserts it will put relationships with foreign firms--principally bauxite and sugara "new basis." It is on record asixed economy featuring government ownership of public utilities, but the door opon to foreign investment io other sectors.

Chit li'yk

In any case,togetherovernment is likely to be easier said than done, thereong rec-

Seasoned observers in Georgetown doubt that any party willlear majority. They also think the PPP will beat out C for the largestof seats in parliament. Since the main oppositionare currently unwilling tooalition with the PPP, observers have felt the most likely government wouiiNC-UF-JP combination.

ord of bitter PHC-UF rivalry, and the JP, which may win about five seats, is largely anquantity. Even theof cabinet officersoalition would be difficult because both tbe PNC and UF arc rent by internal divisions and individual feuds as well as short of competent people.

The most dangerousurnhamwould have to deal with is that of security. Policehas been undermined by PPP charges of partiality and the force has lost some publicbecause it has resorted to brutal tacticsew recent cases. mall new multiracial securitynucleusuture army--is being formed under the governor's direction, but It has not yet progressed beyond the stage of basic

The PPPonsiderable capability to oppose thewith force and violence. In addition to the militants in its youth organization, it also controls the so-called Guyana Liberation Army, which is cadred with Cuban-trained personnel. If the PPP elects toampaign of terror, the police may need backstopplng fromtroops more or less

Burr, ha in could also expect labor troubles in the vital bauxite and sugar industries. Inispute over bonus pay could flarehowdown situation but probably not until after the election lest it damage

ood price. If Jagan were to connive with Castro to divert his business elsewhere, anmarket would be hard to come by.

Under Jagan, British Guiana has become progressively more isolated from its normalin the British and ex-British Caribbean community and it has never had significant association with Latin America because of geographic, economic, and language barriers.

substantial foreign aid,urnham government wouldard time convincing many people it is any better than its predecessor. To dato, only tbe US, Britain, Canada, and west Germany have Indicated atoelping band. Burnhaia, however, probably would have no compunction about going to non-Western sources if not enough assistance werefrom the West. Jagan,isosition tothe government in this About one third of tbe colony'stbird major exportgoos to Cuba

Jagan and the PPP willstrive toomeback following any defeat they may suffer next month. They have already begun blaming the US for their expected defeat. They will have ample opportunities to attack tbe new government as it struggles to organize itself and cope with the country'sproblems. Presentare that the PPP willconfine its opposition to parliamentary harassment and then consider resuming violence if the new government manages toreasonably well. In this they will be assisted by the fact that they apparently retain or

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access to substantialof arms.

In any case, British Guiana willifficult timelace for itself among its area associates, and fear

the East Indians already comprise nearly half theand are the fastest growing segment, much will depend on bow much Jagan's image is tarnished by defeat. Much will alsoon how satisfactory the new government Is in catering to East Indian interests and bow attractive rival contenders for Zast Indian favor prove toPP return to power byew years can by no means be ruled out unless the new government is unusuallyln providing peace and prosperity.

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