(Reuters) – A regional court on Tuesday upheld the Guyanese Parliament’s December no-confidence vote in the government, meaning the South American country will face new elections just as its nascent oil industry appears set to transform the economy.
President David Granger challenged the surprise vote, which came after one member of the ruling coalition unexpectedly sided with the opposition on the motion, in court. But after several appeals, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice upheld the no-confidence vote.
That means the vote would likely come before first oil production, which is expected for early 2020. Exxon Mobil has announced 13 oil discoveries off the small country’s coast, containing more than 5.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas.
The opposition has accused Granger’s government of mismanaging the country’s oil resources and granting Exxon overly generous contract terms.
(This story corrects to read that independent elections body, not government, will create voter registry, in paragraph 5)