Guyana’s electoral authorities declared opposition candidate Irfaan Ali president, ending a five-month constitutional crisis that threatened to turn the South American nation into an international pariah.
The decision eases fears that the country might erupt in violence, or cease to be a democracy, as rival factions fought for control of its fast-growing economy and its massive offshore oil riches.
“I feel immense relief,” said Thomas Singh, an economics professor at the University of Guyana.
“I was of the strong view that we’d have had a state of emergency that would have become a dictatorship.”
Electoral commission chair, retired Justice Claudette Singh said Ali, who represents the People’s Progressive Party, had won the March vote over incumbent David Granger. Ali was sworn in later in the day, Stabroek News reported on its website.