Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham
(1923 - 1985)

Born in Kitty, British Guiana (Guyana), the son of Methodist parents. Co-founded the country's first major democratic party, People’s Progressive Party, in 1950 with soulmate Dr. Cheddi Jagan but split away five years later to found the People’s National Congress. This in effect led to sectarianism in the country with Guyanains of Indian descent voting for the PPP with the PNC picking up almost universal Black support. Elected Prime Minister in 1964, a post which he held until 1980 then President until 1985.

In 1970 he declared the country a "Cooperative Republic", moving towards the Soviet bloc and out of the American sphere of influence. His government also began nationalising commercial concerns and, bizarrely, invited the Reverand Jim Jones and his flock to set up in the forest of North Guyana. Died whilst undergoing surgery in 1985.

Length of Rule - Twenty One years

Related Links

How Forbes Burnham ‘stole’ elections

Official PNC site

Speech

Books

Black & White

Shiva Naipaul

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