SURINAME: Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi is the new president – leads 4-party Coalition Government

Flag of Suriname

It was around 11 am. After all duties, the symbol of the Republic of Suriname was formally attached. President Desi Bouterse said goodbye after 10 years and Chan Santokhi took office. (Image: STVS)

Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi

Former President Bouterse wished the new president and vice president much wisdom and strength in pulling the cart. “There is a lot of work to be done.”
In a completely different atmosphere than usual, President of the Parliament Marinus Bee chaired the extraordinary meeting. A lot of space was planned for the various cultural expressions on this special day for Suriname. Taking into account COVID-19 measures, the organization succeeded in establishing a worthy platform for the solemn occasion.


June 15, 2020

Four opposition parties have formed a coalition to elect the next president in August, though they remain one vote short of the 34 needed for a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, which is required to elect the president.

The United Reform Party leapfrogged past Bouterse’s National Democratic Party, winning 20 seats, up from nine, while the government party fell from 26 to 16.

The Reform Party’s chief, former police officer Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi, will become the next president.

Bouterse, who won democratic elections a decade ago, has suffered from an economic crisis and from a 2019 conviction for murder involving political opponents of the military government he led from 1980 to 1987. A Dutch court also has convicted him in absentia of drug trafficking, which he denies.

The VHP had its best election result since 1973, more than doubling its previous number of seats and becoming the largest party in the National Assembly. President Dési Bouterse’s NDP lost more than a third of its seats, which was partly attributed to the country’s economic problems and the criminal charges brought against him. ABOP had its best result since its foundation in 1990, winning eight seats, while the PL had its worst result since its establishment, winning only two seats.

2020 Surinamese general election
← 2015 25 May 2020 Elections 2025 →
All 51 seats in the National Assembly -26 seats needed for a majority
Party Leader % Seats ±
VHP Chan Santokhi 39.45% 20 +11
NDP Dési Bouterse 23.97% 16 -10
NPS Gregory Rusland 11.79% 3 +1
ABOP[a] Ronnie Brunswijk 9.08% 8 +3
PL[a] Paul Somohardjo 6.05% 2 -3
BEP Ronny Asabina 2.49% 2 0

This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.


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  • brandli62  On 07/17/2020 at 9:09 am

    It will be interesting to see whether Bouterse will go to jail for the killing of opposition members.

  • wic  On 07/17/2020 at 12:03 pm

    Don’t know anything of killings by Bouterse but Guyana has its share of unpunished political murders – Walter Rodney, Father Darke. So be careful about casting stones. Amazing that the leaders of Suriname are capable of such a smooth transition of power notwithstanding previous their political problems and perhaps Guyana can learn from them. If not, perhaps the time will come when the people of the Courantyne and part of Berbice will form a union with Suriname, those of Essequibo go with Venezeula, the Rupununi with Brazil, and of Demerara and the ECD & WCD and the balance of Berbice left to continue clowning around..Such fragmentation is not unheard of in other parts of the world and may well take place in Guyana.

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