Surinamese general election, 2010

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A legislative election was held in Suriname on 25 May 2010.[1]

Nine parties contested the election.[2] Pre-election polls suggested a share of 41% of the vote going to the "Mega Combination" coalition, that includes the National Democratic Party of former dictator Dési Bouterse.[3][4] The ruling Nieuw Front (NF) had around 22.5% support.[3] There were 324,490 people registered to vote in the election which would determine the holders of 51 parliament seats, 116 regional positions and 752 municipal positions.[3][5]

Preliminary results issued on 26 May 2010 showed the Mega Combination winning a plurality of 23 seats of 51, up from 15 in the last election.[4][6] The New Front for Democracy and Development alliance of incumbent President Ronald Venetiaan (who had stated before the election that he would not seek another term) was said to have won 14 seats.[4] Venetiaan ruled out working together with the NDP as long as it was led by Bouterse.[4] In the upcoming indirect presidential election in July 2010, a two-thirds majority will be required to elect the next president.[7] Organisation of American States election observers reported a peaceful election with no irregulaties.[4]

Bouterse has not stated if he will seek to return to the presidency. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has said that the Dutch government will respect the will of the voters of Suriname, despite Bouterse having been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Dutch court for drug dealing.[4] An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for him, but Suriname does not extradite its citizens.[6]

The NDP successfully concluded a coalition deal with Bouterse's former opponents in the civil war, the A Combinatie, giving him a majority in parliament, but not the two-thirds majority required to elect the president.[8] Negotiations with the People's Alliance to attain the necessary supermajority reportedly failed after the People's Alliance raised excessive demands.[8]

The NDP fell out with the A Combinatie over the number of cabinet posts, however, and subsequently, the New Front (led by the National Party of Suriname) formed a coalition deal with the A Combinatie and the People's Alliance, giving them 27 seats in parliament, enough to form the government, but too few to elect the president.[9] It was seen as a possibility that Bouterse might be elected in the final round of the presidential election (when it goes to the People's Assembly, where the NDP has a majority.[10]

In a surprise development, Jennifer Geerlings-Simons from the NDP was elected Chairwoman of the House on 30 June 2010 with 26 to 24 votes, even though the anti-NDP parties had a majority in parliament. The NPS's Ruth Wijdenbosch was elected Vice Chairwoman with 25 to 24 votes.[11]

In the run-up to the presidential election on 19 July 2010, Bouterse convinced the A Combinatie to join forces with him, giving him a 30-seat majority; immediately before the election, he succeeded in getting the People's Alliance to join him, giving him the votes required to become president.[12]

Results[edit]

e • d 25 May 2010 Surinamese legislative election results
Parties and alliance Votes % Seats
Mega Combinatie 95,543 40.22 23
New Front for Democracy and Development 75,190 31.65 14
People's Alliance 30,844 12.98 6
Party for Democracy and Development through Unity 12,085 5.09 1
BVD/PVF 12,043 5.07
A Combinatie 11,176 4.70 7
Democratic Union Suriname 284 0.12
Permanent Prosperity Republic of Suriname 261 0.11
National Union 149 0.06
Total (turnout 73.21%) 237,575 100.00 51
Source: verkiezingen.gov.sr]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maximiliano Herrera (2010-04-21). "Electoral Calendar-international elections world elections". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  2. ^ McGowan, Mark (26 May 2010). "Bouterse coalition close to majority". Stabroek news. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Ex-dictator on likely comeback trail in Suriname vote". Caribbean Net News. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Former dictator's party ahead in Suriname election". Associated Press. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Election 2010 turnout per district
  6. ^ a b "Bouterse's past is not forgotten, despite election victory:Verhagen". DutchNews.nl. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Kommentar posten. "Partei Ex-Diktator Bouterses gewinnt Parlamentswahl - Surinam - derStandard.at › International". Derstandard.at. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  8. ^ a b "Bouterse, Brunswijk conclude successful coalition talks". Stabroek News. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  9. ^ "Former Suriname dictator struggling to form new government". Caribbean Net News. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Associated Press 2010-07-01 07:27 AM (2010-07-01). "Ex-dictator's ally to lead Suriname parliament - Taiwan News Online". Etaiwannews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  12. ^ "Former Suriname dictator looks to have secured presidency | Manila Bulletin". Mb.com.ph. Retrieved 2010-08-21.