Irfaan Ali takes oath as 9th president of Guyana

Dr Irfaan Ali Guyana's new president
Dr Irfaan Ali Guyana’s new president

By Agency Reporter

Dr Irfaan Ali, a member of the opposition Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has been sworn-in as Guyana’s 9th President.

He was sworn in today hours after his declaration by the country’s electoral commission as the winner of the disputed March 2 election.

Ali was a former housing minister of the South American country.

The swearing-in brought to a close the record-breaking post election crisis, triggered by the former president, who committed vote fraud and declared himself the winner.

But according to preliminary recount data released in June, Ali won the initial poll.

Washington last month called on former President David Granger to resign.

The final result comes months after a consortium led by Exxon Mobil Corp began producing oil off Guyana’s coast, turning the impoverished country of fewer than 800,000 people into the world’s newest crude hot spot and promising to boost growth in the agriculture- and mining-dependent economy.

Ali’s party has criticised the contract Granger’s government signed with Exxon – which includes a 2% royalty and a 50% profit share after cost recovery – as too generous, but he has stopped short of pledging to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

Exxon and Granger’s allies both say the terms are comparable to other frontier oil producers, and were necessary to attract investment to the unproven location.

Granger declared victory days after the March vote and said he planned to serve another five years.

But the opposition said results from the largest voting district had been inflated to put Granger ahead of Ali and the country’s top court found the district had not counted vote in accordance with electoral laws.