President of Suriname Desi Bouterse. (GP)
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PARAMARIBO – The National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Desi Bouterse has congratulated the opposition parties that on their victory in the May 25 general election and their decision to move towards the formation of a coalition government in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
“We wish you prosperity, wisdom, strength and perseverance in the pursuit of the Surinamese goal which is sacred to all of us, namely to push Suriname to greater heights at any level,” the NDP said in a statement after the Independent Electoral Council of Suriname released the official results of the poll over the last weekend.
The opposition parties – Progressive Reform Party (VHP), Algemene Bevrijdings- en Ontwikkelingspartij (APBO), The National Party of Suriname (NPS), and the Pertjajah Luhur (PL), and the Brotherhood and Unity in politics (BEP) together control 35 of the 51 seats in the National Assembly, while Bouterse’s NDP won the remaining 16 seats.
In its statement, the NDP warned the opposition parties that they should “remember, the path of success is not one of roses”.
“So be prepared for eventualities and thresholds. If we are all one, breathe this thought into the afterlife, it cannot be otherwise that to crown this congratulation at your address will make it immortal,” the NDP said, adding that it wanted to wish “to every Surinamese of these coalition parties who will form the government, the blessing of the Most High of the religion you profess”.
Last month, Bouterse, who remains head of state until a successor is chosen, said, “the process towards election of the functions of President and Vice-president still need to take place according to our rules and regulations”.
In the statement, Bouterse reminded “it is important to know that Suriname is not governed by the Westminster system”.
Instead, Suriname has a pluriform multi-party system in which voters vote for the 51-member unicameral National Assembly, simultaneously and popularly elected for a five-year term.
“These 51 individual members of parliament will, when elected, vote for a President and Vice President,” the statement added.
The election is scheduled for August.
Meanwhile, the Organisation of American States (OAS) said it welcomes the official proclamation by the Independent Electoral Council of Suriname, which confirmed the allocation of seats in the country’s National Assembly.
“This is an important step in Suriname’s electoral process and opens the way for the installation of the Assembly’s newl-elected members before the end of June, as well as the eventual election of the next President and Vice-President,” the OAS said.
It said it was still looking forward to learning the decisions of Suriname’s authorities regarding the finalisation and certification of election results for the Local and District Councils, which remain outstanding.
“Once more, the OAS General Secretariat commends the Government of Suriname, the electoral authorities, political parties, citizens and all other stakeholders for their democratic commitment demonstrated throughout the electoral process.
“In this regard, it is very important to highlight, in particular, the diligence and perseverance of the electoral authorities and poll workers who remained at their posts throughout the tabulation period, even as the country confronted a resurgence of Covid-19 in the post-electoral phase.
“The OAS General Secretariat salutes the winning coalition, wishing the best for the future endeavours. In the same direction, it is important to recognize President Bouterse’s commitment with the results, expecting a smooth transition and a path of stability for democracy in Suriname,” the hemispheric body said, adding that it remains committed to strengthening democracy and democratic governance in the hemisphere, and looks forward to working with all stakeholders in Suriname towards this end. (CMC)