The Cooperative Republic of Guyana is a multiparty democracy. National and regional elections took place in March 2020, and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic won both the presidency and a majority of representational seats. International and local observers considered the elections free and fair. The incumbent government at the time contested the results of the national elections, leading to a five-month electoral impasse that concluded with the swearing in of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic government on August 2, 2020.
The police commissioner heads the Guyana Police Force, which reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and is responsible for maintaining internal security. The Guyana Defense Force is responsible for external security but also has some domestic security responsibilities. The defense force, headed by a chief of staff, falls under the purview of the Defense Board, which the president of the country chairs. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. There were reliable reports that members of the security forces committed abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; harsh prison conditions; and laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adult men.
Government officials did not enjoy impunity for human rights abuses or for corruption. There were independent and transparent procedures for handling allegations of abuses by security forces.