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Suriname

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Politics and government of
Suriname



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The President of the Republic of Suriname (Dutch: President van de Republiek Suriname) is, in accordance with the Constitution of 1987, the head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of Suriname.

The current President is H.E. Dr. Ronald Venetiaan, a mathematician and member of the Afro-Surinamese and Roman Catholic communities. He is affiliated with the National Party of Suriname, a centrist party. Venetiaan was elected to a record third term (second consecutive) in 2005.

Contents

Election

The President and a Vice President are elected by the National Assembly to a five-year mandate and are accountable to the Assembly. During his time in office, the President must forfeit any additional posts in politics or business.

Qualification

A candidate must be a Surinamese national (resident in the country for at least six years) who is at least 30 years of age. A candidate must win at least two-thirds of the votes in the Assembly to be elected. If no candidate wins two-thirds after three rounds, the vote then goes to the United People's Congress, composed of the Assembly and local government officials. In this case, a simple majority is required.

Powers and duties

The President is vested with extensive functional powers. The President names and dismisses ministers, signs bills, and names and dismisses diplomatic staff. He declares war and states of emergency with the ratification of the National Assembly. He concludes foreign treaties and agreements, again with the assent of the Assembly. He also exercises ceremonial duties such as conferring awards, receiving foreign diplomats, and granting pardons.

History

The office of President was created upon independence from the Netherlands in 1975. Until 1987, the role was largely ceremonial. The first officeholder was Dr. Johan Ferrier (nl), a schoolteacher and veteran politician who had served as governor since 1968. He was forced out of office in August 1980, several months after a coup d'état by army commander Lt. Col. Dési Bouterse transferred most political authority to the military leadership. From then until 1988, the titular Presidents were essentially army-installed puppets of Lt. Col. Bouterse, who ruled as a dictator with few practical checks on his power. Democracy was restored in 1988, but Bouterse staged another coup in 1990. However, he was ousted after only one year.

List of Presidents of Suriname (1975-Present)

No. Name Took office Left office Party
1. Dr. Johan Ferrier 25 November 1975 13 August 1980 non-partisan
2. Dr. Hendrick Rudolf Chin A Sen 15 August 1980 4 February 1982 PNR
3. Lachmipersad Frederick Ramdat Misier (acting) 8 February 1982 25 January 1988 non-partisan
4. Ramsewak Shankar 25 January 1988 24 December 1990 VHP
5. Johan Kraag 29 December 1990 16 September 1991 NPS
6. Dr. Ronald Venetiaan 16 September 1991 15 September 1996 NPS
7. Dr. Jules Wijdenbosch 15 September 1996 12 August 2000 NDP
8. Dr. Ronald Venetiaan 12 August 2000 incumbent NPS

Parties: National Democratic Party (NDP), Nationalist Republican Party (PNR), National Party of Suriname (NPS), Progressive Reform Party (VHP)

See also

External links

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