Surinamese general election, 2010
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Nine parties contested the election. 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. The ruling Nieuw Front (NF) had around 22.5% support. 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.
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. 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. Venetiaan ruled out working together with the NDP as long as it was led by Bouterse. In the upcoming indirect presidential election in July 2010, a two-thirds majority will be required to elect the next president. Organisation of American States election observers reported a peaceful election with no irregulaties.
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. An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for him, but Suriname does not extradite its citizens.
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. Negotiations with the People's Alliance to attain the necessary supermajority reportedly failed after the People's Alliance raised excessive demands.
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. 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.
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.
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.
|Parties and alliance||Votes||%||Seats|
|New Front for Democracy and Development||75,190||31.65||14|
|Party for Democracy and Development through Unity||12,085||5.09||1|
|Democratic Union Suriname||284||0.12||—|
|Permanent Prosperity Republic of Suriname||261||0.11||—|
|Total (turnout 73.21%)||237,575||100.00||51|
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- Election 2010 turnout per district
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