Suriname. The year was very successful for Suriname’s former dictator, 64-year-old Desi Bouterse. On May 25, his coalition Mega Combinatie won 23 out of 41 seats in Congress, while President Runaldo Ronald Venetian’s New Front became the second largest group with 13 seats. Thus, the game began to mobilize support for Bouterses candidacy for the presidential post, which is added by Congress if there is a two-thirds majority for any candidate. As it was now, the eleven mandates were adopted in support of Bouterses candidacy. But before the vote in Congress on July 19, he had succeeded in getting over his side A-Combinatie, a coalition of several small parties, and was consequently elected president. Ironically, A-Combinatie is led by Ronnie Brunswijk, one of Bouterses’ former bodyguards who, during his dictatorship in the 1980s, led an armed uprising against him.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Suriname has a population of 575,991 (2018). The election of Bouterse as president caused some embarrassing diplomatic problems for Suriname. Bouterse is wanted internationally for drug smuggling following a verdict in the Netherlands in 1999, and the presidential installation on August 12 was not proved by a single foreign head of state. Many observers also made sarcastic comments about Bouterses’ election of Justice Minister Martin Misiedjan, who confesses to the rastafari religion where marijuana is used as part of the ceremony. Also in Suriname, a legal process is underway against Bouterse for a massacre during his time as dictator in the early 1980s, and the outgoing President Venetiaan refused to follow tradition and symbolically surrender power at the installation ceremony.