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Author Topic: Surinamese General Elections – May 25, 2015  (Read 530 times)
Sir John Johns
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« on: May 25, 2015, 11:23:58 am »

Not an eminent specialist on the question, but there really should be a thread about it as Surinamese politics are a fascinating and insane world with tons of ethnic parties, unstable political alliances, and crazy scandals. As my knowledge of Dutch language is very limited I have to *cough* made heavy use of Google Translate. Hope I have nothing wrong. If someone with knowledge of Surinamese politics want to correct or complete he is welcome.

General elections are being held today in Suriname with the 51 deputies of the National Assembly (De Nationale Assemblée, DNA), the 89 members of district councils (districtraden, DR), and the 764 members of resort councils (ressortraden, RR) being all up for election. The newly elected DNA will then have two months to elect the new president of Suriname with a two-third majority required for a candidate to win. If DNA failed to elect the president after two attempts, the election will be thrown into the United People's Assembly (Verenidge Volksvergadering, VVV), a body composed of all members of DNA, DR, and RR. A candidate will then only need a single majority in the VVV to be elected president of Suriname.

The deputies to DNA are elected by open-list proportional representation with the 10 districts of the country serving as multi-member constituencies. The number of deputies allocated by constituency is supposedly allocated according to the population of the district. The allocation is however strongly distorted in favor of the rural districts as Paramaribo, where about half of the Surinamese population lives, has only 17 out of 51 seats in DNA. Eleven parties or alliances are running today but only three of them have field candidates in every single districts. Furthermore, several minor parties haven't field the maximum possible number of candidates in the districts in which they are running.

Main parties and alliances

National Democratic Party (NDP)

The NDP was established in 1987 in order to provide an electoral vehicle for the then military dictator Dési Bouterse in anticipation of the legislative elections held that year, the first ones since Bouterse's coup in 1980. The return to democracy however only truly happened in 1991 when Bouterse gave up his post of head of the army and left the military. Four years later, the candidate supported by Bouterse, Jules Wijdenbosch, was surprisingly elected president of Suriname by DNA opening the way for a return to power of Bouterse who pull the strings from the sidelines.

Nonetheless, after having ruined the economy, Wijdenbosch came at odds with Bouterse and launched his own political party, the Democratic National Platform 2000 (DNP 2000). Both NDP and DNP 2000 were defeated in the 2000 general elections and Bouterse remained excluded from power until 2010, when the Mega Combinatie, the NDP-led coalition, won a plurality in DNA and gathered enough support in the national house to obtain a two-third majority and permit the election of Bouterse as president of Suriname.

A fervent admirer of both Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, Bouterse has followed since his return to power a left-wing populist policy. Using the financial windfall provided by gold and bauxite mining and oil extraction, he has fund a massive expansion of the social programs that notably includes the increase of child benefit, the introduction of a minimum wage, the establishment of a social security system and the launching of a large-scale program of housing construction which remains to be achieved. An ambitious plan of infrastructure development has also been launched with the building of numerous roads, the extension of the electricity grid, the construction of a highway and the extension of the port of Paramaribo.

Under the presidency of Bouterse, Suriname has continued to enjoy a solid economic growth (actually one of the strongest in South America). There are however many concerns, expressed notably by the Bank of Suriname and officials of the ministry of Finance, over the ballooning budget deficit and the quickly growing public debt. Critics have also been expressed over the continuing heavily reliance of Surinamese economy on export of minerals and the China's rising influence in the country.

However, the Suriname's number-one economic problem remains the rampant corruption and widespread cronyism. Despite the promises made in 2010 by Bouterse the situation has worsened but this is hardly a surprise as Bouterse, to say the least, has never been a particularly clean politician. As head of the army in the 1980s and the early 1990s, he was suspected of being deeply involved into cocaine trafficking which has resulted in 1999 in his conviction in absentia by a Dutch court to an 11-year prison sentence for drug smuggling. Furthermore, a Wikileaks cable has revealed that in the early 2000s Bouterse met several times Guyanese drug baron Roger Khan (also involved into arm-trafficking with the FARC) and plotted with the latter the murder of both the then-justice minister (who happened to be this year Bouterse's biggest rival for the upcoming presidential election) and attorney general of Suriname.

Recently, the son of Dési Bouterse, Dino Bouterse – appointed by his daddy to head the notoriously violent and inefficient Suriname's Counter Terrorism Unit despite his previous prison sentence for drugs, arms and stolen cars trafficking – became the central figure of an insane scandal mixing drug-trafficking, arm-smuggling, passport falsification, and international terrorism. In 2013, while on a trip to an international summit, Dino Bouterse was arrested in Panamá and hand over to the U.S. Justice which charged him for his relations with a Mexican drug cartel and for his offer to provide passports, heavy weapons, and a place for a training camp on the Suriname soil to Hezbollah militants (who turned out to be undercover U.S. agents) in exchange of money. In March 2015, Bouterse, Jr., pleading guilty in the case, was sentenced by a U.S. court to 16 years in jail.

Bouterse's term in office has also been marked by the controversy surrounding the revision of the 1992 Amnesty Law. An amendment to the law, voted in April 2012 by the Mega Combinatie and its parliamentary allies, now ensures complete impunity for the offenses committed “in the context of defense of the state”. In practical terms, the amendment put an end to the legal proceedings launched in 2007 against Bouterse and other figures of the military dictatorship for their participation into the torture and the massacre of fifteen opposition leaders that happened in December 1982. The amendment, which came under the fire of opposition parties and international human rights organizations, led to the immediate suspension of Dutch aid to Suriname. An unrepentant Bouterse also reinstated the February 25 as holiday commemorating the February 25, 1980 coup that brought him to power.

Reneging on his 2010 promise to not run for a second presidential term to make room for a younger generation of politicians, Bouterse has been selected by the NDP to be its presidential candidate. Running also for deputy in the Paramaribo District, Bouterse has campaigned on his record on welfare and infrastructure development. The incumbent president has also promised to continue the expansion of the social programs with a further increase in child benefit and to implement the long-time promised plan to build 18,000 housings.

Thanks to his social programs, Bouterse is widely popular among the rural residents and the poor segments of Surinamese society. He is also very popular among the youngest generations who have no memories of the economic mess left by both the military regime and the Wijdenbosch administration. One of the key of the electoral success of the NDP is also the cross-ethnic appeal of the party which contrasts with the mono-ethnic nature of the vast majority of Surinamese parties. Back in 2010, the NPD succeeded into electing at least one deputy into every single district of the country.

Unlike last legislative election, the NDP is running this time alone after having abandoned its allies of the Mega-Combinatie, namely the Javanese KTPI, the Hindustani (i.e. Indo-Surinamese, Hindus and Muslims alike) New Suriname (NS), and the trade-unionist PALU. It seems to me that the NDP now no longer wants to bother with other parties in government and desires to be in complete control of the administration. The NDP has however since merged with two other small parties: the Basic Party for Renewal and Democracy (BVD), a Hindustani party led by one of the wealthiest men in Suriname, and the Democrats of the 21st Century (D21), a Javanese party led by Soewarto Moestadja who was Interior minister between 2010 and 2014, then turned into a fierce opponent to Bouterse before ultimately rejoined the presidential majority because its party didn't get good slots on the main opposition alliance's lists. Back in 2010, both the BVD and the D21 ran against the Mega Combinatie as part of different electoral alliances.

Sir John Johns
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 11:24:48 am »


The V7 (V standing for Victory) is a broad opposition coalition which unites six (initially seven) political parties, most of them being among the historically most important ones. The V7 has been recently created by the enlargement of the New Front alliance (whose permanent members are the VHP, the NPS, and the SPA; joined in 2010 by the DA'91) to include three other parties: Pertjajah Luhur, the BEP, and the KTPI. The latter however quickly abandoned the V7 to join the concurrent A-Combinatie. The New Front have ruled Suriname under President Ronald Venetiaan from 1991 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2010. Back in 2010, the New Front finished second behind the Mega-Combinatie with 14 out of 51 seats in DNA. The current six members of the V7 are the following:

Progressive Reform Party (VHP). It was founded in 1949 as the Progressive Hindustani Party and, as indicated by its original name, it's a predominantly Indo-Surinamese party even if attempts have been recently to enlarge the electoral base of the party beyond of the Hindustani community. The VHP played a key part into the return of democracy by forming with the National Party of Suriname (NPS) the backbone of the successive anti-NDP electoral alliances. During the third presidential terms of NPS leader Venetiaan (1991-1996, 2000-2010), the VHP had been bestowed the post of vice-president of Suriname. In recent years the VHP has however displaced the NPS as the main party within the New Front and, in 2010, the New Front's presidential candidate came from the ranks of the VHP. This again the case this year and, like in 2010, the candidate for president supported by the main anti-NDP alliance will be Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the leader of the VHP.

In the 2010 legislative elections, the VHP, running as part of the New Front, elected 8 deputies and thus became the largest opposition party in DNA. 3 of the VHP deputies (including Santokhi) were then elected in the Wanica district where the Hindustani constitute a plurality (44%) of the population. The VHP could possibly improve its results inside the Hindustani community after its recent merging with another Hindustani party, the Union of Progressive Surinamese Party (UPS). In 2010, the UPS ran as part of the People's Alliance, a competitor to both New Front  and Mega-Combinatie, but failed to gain a seat in DNA.

National Party of Suriname (NPS). Like the VHP, the NPS is a vaguely center-left party. Its electoral clientele however lies into the Creole community (mixed-race descendants of African slaves and Europeans) who constitutes a plurality of the population in two districts: Paramaribo (25.5%) and Coronie (71.84%). The post of president of Suriname has been held by a member of the NPS for half of the time since the independence of Suriname in 1975: notably by Johan Ferrier from the independence to the 1980 coup and by Ronald Venetiaan who was elected three times as president of Suriname (1991, 2000, 2005). Since the return of democracy, the NPS has formed a stable alliance with the VHP but seems to suffer from a steady electoral decline. Since the retirement of Venetiaan in 2012, the party is led by Gregory Rusland. Rusland is running for election in Paramaribo District where, in last elections, three out of the four NPS deputies had been elected; the remaining deputy was elected in Para District.

Suriname Labor Party (SPA). A non-ethnic social-democrat party founded in 1987 by trade-union leaders. Since the early 1990s, the SPA has been a loyal ally of the NPS and the VHP and has held ministerial posts in the successive Venetiaan administration. The party has been weakened by the resignation in 2009 of its leader, Siegfried Gils, who was embroiled into a scandal of money laundering. The resignation of Gils opened a bitter succession war into the SPA between Clifford Marica and Guno Castelen. The affair came to justice with a court declaring Castelen as the new legal leader of the SPA; a disgruntled Marica immediately left the party. In the 2010 election, the SPA got only one seat, won by Castelen in Paramaribo District.

Pertjajah Luhur (PL) A Javanese party established in 1998 by a splinter group led by Paul Somohardjo which left Pendawalima (another Javanese party founded in 1977) to protest against the decision of the party to support the then-president Jules Wijdenbosch. PL then joined the New Front and was part of both latter Venetiaan administrations. In 2005, Somohardjo was elected speaker of DNA with the support of the other parties of the New Front. Shortly before the 2010 elections, PL left however the New Front to merge with Pendawalima and Moestadja's D21 in order to establish a strong Javanese block which later formed an electoral alliance with the Hindustani UPS (now part of the VHP) and the tiny Roman Catholic Creole PSV. The new alliance, called the People's Alliance, gathered 13% of the national vote and won 6 seats all gained by members of the Javanese block.

In a surprising move, PL forged an alliance with the Mega Combinatie and ensured the election of Bouterse as president of Suriname. Bouterse rewarded the Javanese block by appointing Moestadja as interior minister and Raymond Sapoen, the leader of Pendawalima, as education minister. PL also voted in support of the amendment to the Amnesty Law but the relations between Bouterse and the Javanese block gradually strained. In April 2014, Bouterse sacked Sapoen and Moestadja and put an end to the parliamentary coalition between the Mega Combinatie and PL. Rumors claimed that Bouterse expelled PL from government in order to have the upper hand on the interior ministry in anticipation of the 2015 elections.

As a consequence, PL joined the ranks of the opposition and became a founding member of the V7 alliance. Moestadja and the D21, as previously mentioned, rejoined later once again the presidential majority. Since its foundation, PL has been led by its founder, Somohardjo, who is currently running for reelection in Paramaribo District. A colorful political figure, Somohardjo has been involved all along his political career into an impressive series of political scandals, notably various corruption affairs, a case of sexual assault and two TV-broadcast brawls, the first one in the 1980s during a Dutch TV-show, and the second one when he was speaker of DNA.

Brotherhood and Unity in Politics (BEP). A party established in 1973 to defend the interests of the Maroons, the descendants of runaway African slaves who traditionally live in rural communities located in the forested hinterland and have suffered from economic and political marginalization. The Marroons are far from forming a united ethnic group as it is divided four or five rival sub-groups; recent years have also seen an important migration of the Maroons to the urban areas.

In 2005, the BEP joined other Maroon parties into the A-Combinatie, an all-Maroon alliance with won 7.3% of the national vote and won 5 seats. As a consequence of this unprecedented electoral success, the BEP entered into the New Front-led government with its leader, Celsius Waterberg, becoming health minister. Five years later, the A-Combinatie won only 4.67% of the national vote but increased it parliamentary representation as it won 7 seats, 4 of them being won by the BEP.

Like its partners of the A-Combinatie, the BEP entered into alliance with Bouterse and helped him to get elected president of Suriname. However, the party quickly divided itself over continuing to support Bouterse or not. One of the big problems then meet by the BEP deputies was the passage of the amendment to the Amnesty Law which, besides ending the trial of the December 1982 Massacre, also terminated the legal proceedings in connection with the human rights violations committed by the military regime on Maroon communities, notably the 1986 Moiwana massacre in which about 40 civilians (including women and children) were murdered in retaliation for the guerrilla activities of a rebel Maroon group. The BEP then split in two with 2 deputies withdrawing their support to Bouterse and the two others forming a dissident political party, the Brotherhood in Politics 2011 (BP-2011) which renewed the alliance with the Mega-Combinatie. The historical BEP, under the leadership of Waterberg, then joined the ranks of the opposition and became part of the V7 alliance. Waterberg is trying to get elected as deputy in Paramaribo, a sign of the growing demographic importance of the Maroons in the capital where, according to the latest census, they formed 16% of the total population.

Democratic Alternative 91 (DA'91). The non-ethnic liberal DA'91 has its roots into the Alternative Forum (AF), a political party founded in 1991 by scholars under the model of the Dutch D66. In the elections held the same year, the AF founded the DA'91 electoral alliance with the BEP, Pendawalima, and a now-extinct Hindustani party; the DA'91 won then a strong 16.7% and gained 9 seats. Since then the electoral results of the DA'91 has steadily declined with most of its components leaving the ship one after the other. By 2010, the DA'91 was, for all purposes, totally confused with the AF. That year, the DA'91 joined the New Front and elected a single deputy, the party's leader Winston Jessurun, who ran in Paramaribo District.

Sir John Johns
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 11:26:34 am »

The presidential candidate of the V7 is VHP leader Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the only serious challenger of Bouterse in the upcoming presidential race. Santokhi has been the unsuccessful presidential candidate of the New Front in 2010. A former police chief, Santokhi became a well-known political figure as minister for justice and police between 2005 and 2010. In that post, he took a tough stance on drug-trafficking and played a key role in the arrest in Paramaribo of Guyanese drug lord Roger Khan. Controversially, Khan was handed over to the U.S. Justice and not to the Guyanese authorities; this provoked a diplomatic incident between Suriname and Guyana and led Bouterse to portray Santokhi as a lackey of the U.S. The feud between Bouterse and Santokhi (as previously mentioned, Bouterse is suspected to have plot with Khan to murder Santokhi and the attorney general of Suriname) continued to deepen when Santokhi pushed for the opening of the trial of those responsible for the December 1982 Massacre. In the late 2000s, Bouterse only referred to Santokhi as “the Sheriff” and Bob Marley's song “I Shot the Sheriff” was extensively played during the meetings of the NDP. Ironically, in late 2010, Bouterse supported the appointment of Santokhi to the post of chairman of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). After one year spent at the head of the CICAD, Santokhi returned to Surinamese politics and was elected president of the VHP with the expressed intent to turn it into a multi-ethnic party.

The V7 has promised a return of the rule of law, the strengthening of democracy, an effective tackling of the corruption and the restoration of the 1992 Amnesty Law as it was before Bouterse changed it. It also had criticized the president's economic policy, describing it as unsustainable in the long run. The V7 advocates a return to balanced budgets, a reform of the tax system including cuts for business, a reduction of red tape and, more generally, an economic strategy aiming at attracting foreign investments and diversifying the Surinamese economy. In foreign policy, the V7 wants to improve the badly damaged relations with both the U.S. and the Netherlands.

The electoral chances of the V7 are however hampered by the mixed record of the New Front at the head of the country between 2000 and 2010. While the country experimented then a strong economical growth, many Surinamese fell that their own personal situation didn't improve. The Venetiaan administration was also accused of doing little, a consequence of infighting between the various members of the then-ruling coalition. Finally, the grand statements on fighting the corruption are contradicted by the various scandals that erupted under the Venetiaan presidency and by the inclusion on the lists of the V7 of shady politicians like Somohardjo.

Alternative Combinatie.

The A-Combinatie was originally founded in 2005 as a coalition of Maroon parties. In the latter months, it has however turned into an alliance of convenience between a single Maroon party, the ABOP, and two Javanese parties. The presidential candidate of the A-Combinatie is Ronnie Brunswijk, the leader of the ABOP. The three members of the A-Combinatie are:

General Liberation and Development Party (ABOP). The personal vehicle of Maroon military officer turned into successful businessman Ronnie Brunswijk. A former bodyguard of Bouterse in the early 1980s, Brunswijk broke with the dictator in 1985 and started the following year a guerrilla movement, usually referred to as the “Jungle Commando”, in his native Marowijne District. The Jungle Commando, which supposedly fought for the defense of the Maroon interests, quickly became involved in a lot of illegal activities including smuggling (Marowijne District is bordered by French Guiana), drug-trafficking and racketing of the passing motorists and the numerous illegal artisanal gold-diggers of the area. As the military activities of the Jungle Commando directly threatened the economically important bauxite mining site of Moengo, the Surinamese army engaged into a brutal crackdown on the guerrilla, accompanied by numerous abuses against the Maroon civilians, notably the 1986 Moiwana massacre.

In 1990, Brunswijk was arrested by Bouterse on the charge of drug-trafficking and, in 1992, the Jungle Commando made peace with the Surinamese government. Brunswijk, who was quickly released, seems to have largely benefited from his guerrilla activities as he is now a wealthy businessman who owned notably a gold-company and a soccer club; he has built in Moengo a stadium named after him. The origins of Brunswijk's sudden wealth didn't remained unexplained for long; in October 2000, a Dutch court sentenced him in abstentia to six years in jail for cocaine trafficking.

Brunswijk's legal problems didn't hindered him to start a political career. Having founded the ABOP in 1990, he used his large wealth to build an electoral base in the Maroon-populated areas (notably by distributing banknotes during the ABOP meetings). In 2005, the ABOP joined with two other Maroon parties, the BEP and Seeka, into the A-Combinatie whose intended goal was to favor the economical development of the hinterland and the recognition of the historic treaties signed between the Dutch and the Maroon and Amerindian communities. The A-Combinatie won 3 seats in the 2005 election and therefore entered into the Venetiaan government with ABOP member Alice Amafo becoming both the first Maroon woman and the youngest people in Surinamese history to hold a ministerial portfolio. Two years later, however, Amafo was forced to resign after it was revealed that she used the state funds to pay her 30-year birthday party.

In 2010, the A-Combinatie, still constituted by the ABOP, the BEP and Seeka, increased its parliamentary representation by winning 7 seats, 3 of them being held by the ABOP. In the aftermath of the election, the A-Combinatie forged an unholy alliance with the Mega-Combinatie and supported the presidential candidacy of Bouterse. In exchange of its support for the former dictator, the ABOP received ministerial portfolios and Alice Amafo returned to government.

In what was seem by several Maroon leaders as a betrayal, the ABOP voted in support of the amendment to the Amnesty Law, thus suspending the investigation into the Moiwana Massacre. Shortly afterward, the BEP imploded and the ABOP remained for a while the only member of the A-Combinatie. While still being part of the presidential majority, the ABOP now enjoys pretty bad relations with the NDP as Bouterse apparently didn't welcome the presidential candidacy of his old rival, Ronnie Brunswijk. While the latter has no hope to be elected president this year, he could still hope to ending as the kingmaker in the aftermath of the election in which case he would probably sell his support to the highest bidder.

The ABOP's electoral support is mostly to be found among the Maroon communities belonging to the Ndyuka subgroup, notably those living in the Marowijne District where two out of three ABOP deputies were elected in 2010; the latter one was elected in the Sipaliwini District.

Kerukunan Tulodo Prenatan Inggil (KTPI). The KTPI is an old Javanese party which has been established in 1949 and has been led all along its history by members of the Soemita dynasty. Until 1972, the party was chaired by its founder, Iding Soemita; since then the leader is Willy Soemita, Iding's son. Since the return to democracy, the KTPI has switched back and forth between the various political alliances. Initially a member of the New Front in the early 1990s, the KTPI then threw its support behind President Jules Wijdenbosch before abandoning the later to join in 2000 the NDP-led alliance. Five years later, the KTPI was part of the electoral alliance set up by Wijdenbosch against the NDP but, when Wijdenbosch decided to rejoin the NDP, the KTPI followed him and ran as part of the Mega-Combinatie in the 2010 elections. For some reasons, the KTPI was later expelled from Bouterse's government and then rejoined the V7 alliance for a while. Soemita was apparently unhappy with the constitution of the V7's candidates lists and, in February 2015, he led its party out of the V7 and decided to team up with the ABOP within the A-Combinatie.

Party for Democracy and Development (PDO). A minor Javanese party established last year by former minister (in the 1990s) Waldy Nain after he left Pertjajah Luhur. Don't know much about it.

Sir John Johns
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 11:32:47 am »

Other relevant parties

These ones don't run candidates in every single district but have still decent chances to have one or more deputies in the next legislature and thus could helped a presidential candidate to reach the two-third majority in DNA required to be elected.

Party for Democracy and Development in Unity (DOE). A non-ethnic reformist party founded in 1999 by scholars which has taken staunch positions on human rights and fight against corruption. The DOE is currently led by its only deputy, Carl Breeveld (elected in Paramaribo District), who is a vocal opponent to Bouterse and has strongly criticized the revision of the Amnesty Law. Since its foundation, the party has always refused to enter any political coalition, an uncompromising position that haven't hurt its electoral results as the DOE won finished fourth in 2010 with 5% of the national vote, a very decent result for a small party which only ran candidates in 6 districts. This year, the campaign slogan of the party is “DOE the right thing”.

Mega Front (MF). A three party coalition which is made up by New Suriname (NS), a Hindustani party formerly part of the Mega-Combinatie; The New Lion (DNL), another Hindustani party founded by members of the BVD who opposed to the merger of the party with the NDP; Democratic Union Suriname (DUS) a tiny Maroon party which seems to recruit almost exclusively within the Saramaka (or Saramaccaner) sub-group. In 2010, running as part of the Mega-Combinatie, the NS got two deputies elected, one in Nickerie District and one in Paramaribo District. That same year, running alone in a handful of districts, the DUS won 0.12% and no seats.

Progressive Workers' and Farmers' Union (PALU). What seems to be a democratic socialist and non-ethnic party which is tied to various trade unions. Despite having been founded in 1977, the PALU has never played an important role on the political scene. Running alone in 2005, the party won 1% and no seats; five years later, as a member of the Mega-Combinatie, it won a single seat gained in Coronie District by Anton Paal, who used to be single PALU deputy between 2000 and 2005. The PALU gained an additional seat thanks to the election of Bouterse as president of Suriname as Bouterse was replaced in DNA by his substitute who was a member of PALU. As NDP is no longer interested into being allied with other parties, the PALU is running alone this year with few hopes to get a deputy elected.

Sustainable and Equitable Community (DRS) (not sure about the translation). A party founded last year by the merging of the old Progressive Suriname People's Party (PSV) with the SPA splinter group led by Clifford Marica who left the SPA after having failed to obtain the chairmanship of the party. The PSV used to be very influential at the time of the Dutch rule as the first ever head of government in colonial Suriname belonged to the party. At that time, the electoral base of the PSV was constituted by the Roman Catholic Creoles; I don't known if it's still the case as when in recent years the PSV ran alone it got only very few votes. In 2010, the PSV ran in alliance with PL and UPS and the joint coalition gathered 13.03% of the votes with the PSV failing to win a single seat.

A Nyun Combinatie (ANC). A Maroon three-party coalition whose acronym is the reference to the African National Congress. The three components of the alliance are Brotherhood in Politics 2011 (BP-2011), the pro-Bouterse splinter group of the BEP; Seeka, which was previously part of the A-Combinatie but failed to win a single seat; and something named the Countryside Residents Party (PBP).

Also-run and joke parties

National Development Party (NOP). Another party founded to defend the interest of the Maroon and Amerindian communities of the interior. The NOP recently went to court to decide which one of its two self-proclaimed presidents is the legal one; the justice decided it isn't the one who had decided unilaterally to join the Mega Front on behalf of the party.

Amazone Party of Suriname (APS). A greenish and pro-Amerindian rights party with little hope to enter National Assembly as the race in the hinterland districts is already overcrowded and there are only a handful of seats to distribute between the parties which will finish ahead.

Party for Integrity, National Motivation, and Equal Opportunities (PING). A new party led by a crazy businessman who claimed that “God has a dream and He wants to use me to turn this country into a big nation”. A self-proclaimed social-democrat party, the PING advocated the formation of a government made up by non-politicians and the easing of bank loans to poor with aim to make Suriname one of the ten least corrupt countries in the world (well, that's truly a job for God).

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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 05:28:16 pm »

The Maroons are a fascinating group. There were a lot of them in Jamaica but the British ended up deporting them to Sierra Leone, after the original Black settlers (former slaves freed during the American Revolutionary War) mostly died. They figured the Maroons, who by definition live an African tribal lifestyle, would adapt better. They were right, at least they didn't die as much as the Americans did. They also sent some to Nova Scotia, where they did NOT adapt, and I think most of those people ended up being sent to Sierra Leone later on too.


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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 04:15:22 am »

Provisional(?) Results:

NDP          27 seats
V7            17 seats
A-Alliance   5 seats

Pretty major victory for Bouterse if true.

Sir John Johns
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 06:13:36 pm »

Using the numbers from the website of Elections Suriname and various newspaper articles, I have these results (not 100% sure about the distribution of seats and it's unclear if the counting is totally completed)

National results

NDP 45.37% 26 seats
V7 37.71% 18 seats
A-Combinatie 10.18% 5 seats
DOE 4.35% 1 seat
PALU 0.68% 1 seat
all others under 0.5% with no seat

Breakdown by districts


Main ethnic groups: Creole 25.5%; Hindustani 22.9%; mixed 18.3%; Maroon 16%; Javanese 9.8%; Chinese 2.1%; Indigenous 1.7%

NDP 49.05% winning 9 seats
V7 33.56% winning 6 seats
A-Combinatie 8.01% winning 1 seat
DOE 6.92% winning 1 seat


Main ethnic groups: Hindustani 43.8%; Javanese 17.9%; Maroon 15.3%; mixed 9.9%; Creole 9.3%; Indigenous 1.5%

V7 50.12% winning 4 seats
NDP 37.53% winning 3 seats
A-Combinatie 6.93%
DOE 3.76%


Main ethnic groups: Hindustani 60.5%; Javanese 17.2%; mixed 10.4%; Creole 7.1%; Indigenous 2.1%

V7 56.21% winning 3 seats
NDP 38.69% winning 2 seats
A-Combinatie 3.05%
Mega Front 1.53%


Main ethnic groups: Creole 71.8%; Javanese 15.7%; mixed 7.6%; Hindustani 2.5%

NDP 45.89% winning 1 seat
PALU 26.9% winning 1 seat
V7 20.62%
A-Combinatie 6.59%


Main ethnic groups: Hindustani 53.3%; Javanese 19.8%; mixed 10.9%; Creole 6.8%; Indigenous 5.9%; Maroon 1%

V7 47.43% winning 2 seats
NDP 43.89% winning 1 seat
A-Combinatie 3.91%
DOE 2.46%
PALU 1.49%


Main ethnic groups: Javanese 47.2%; Hindustani 29.8%; mixed 11.3%; Creole 5.4%; Maroon 3.1%; Indigenous 1.3%

NDP 43.97% winning 2 seats
V7 37.65% winning 2 seats
A-Combinatie 15.08%
DOE 2.73%


Main ethnic groups: Maroon 71.6%; Indigenous 9.1%; Javanese 6.7%; mixed 6.1%; Creole 2.4%; Chinese 2.1%

A-Combinatie 52.85% winning 2 seats
NDP 36.57% winning 1 seat
V7 9.92%


Main ethnic groups: Maroon 21.1%; mixed 20.8%; Indigenous 20.8%; Creole 15.3%; Javanese 12.6%; Hindustani 6.5%

NDP 65.9% winning 3 seats
V7 17.38%
A-Combinatie 9.64%
APS 3.36%
DOE 2.32%


Main ethnic groups: Maroon 82.8%; 'others' 7.9%; mixed 2.1%; Creole 1.2%; Chinese 1%

NDP 53.25% winning 2 seats
A-Combinatie 27.48% winning 1 seat
V7 15.51%
ANC 2.47%


Main ethnic groups: Maroon 76%; Indigenous 14.5%; 'others' 3.2%; mixed 2%; Chinese 1.3%

NDP 49.18% winning 2 seats
A-Combinatie 23.21% winning 1 seat
V7 21.87% winning 1 seat
ANC 3.92%

This is the first time in Surinamese history that a single party wins an absolute majority in DNA. The NDP is truly the only party which is potent in every single district. Its worst result is in Marowijne with 36.57%, still a sizeable share of the vote.

Inside the V7 alliance, it appears that the big loser is the NPS which continues its apparently unstoppable electoral decline. Conversely, the VHP keeps its seats and is confirmed as the largest party of the opposition. Relatedly, the V7 only topped the polls in the districts where the Hindustani constitute a majority or a plurality of the population.

Also, the alliance between the ABOP and the two Javanese outfits was in the end pretty useless for the former. Except perhaps the candidate elected in Paramaribo, all the new deputies of the A-Combinatie have been elected in the Maroon-populated districts and presumably belong to the ABOP.

Apparently, the NDP would also have at least a simple majority in the VVV as it scored well in the local elections. It's possible that Bouterse, continuing with its policy to not bother with junior partner, will let the DNA failed to elect the president (NDP hasn't a two-third majority) to be reelected by the VVV.

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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 08:11:02 pm »

Really bad news for Suriname.

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