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Suriname Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
    conventional short form: Suriname
    local long form: Republiek Suriname
    local short form: Suriname
    former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana

    Data code: NS

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Paramaribo

    Administrative divisions: 10 districts (distrikten, singular—distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica

    Independence: 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)

    Constitution: ratified 30 September 1987

    Legal system: based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Jules WIJDENBOSCH (since 14 September 1996); Vice President Pretaapnarian RADHAKISHUN (since 14 September 1996); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Jules WIJDENBOSCH (since 14 September 1996); Vice President Pretaapnarian RADHAKISHUN (since 14 September 1996); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
    note: First Advisor of State maintains significant power
    elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a constitutional majority vote in the National Assembly after two votes, by the larger People's Assembly (869 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms; election last held 23 May 1996; runoff election held 5 September 1996 (next to be held NA May 2001)
    election results: Jules WIJDENBOSCH elected president; percent of legislative vote—NA; National Assembly failed to elect president; results reflect votes cast by the People's Assembly—Jules WIJDENBOSCH (NDP) received 438 votes, Ronald VENETIAAN (NF) received 407 votes

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or National Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 23 May 1996 (next to be held NA May 2001)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NDP 16, NF 14, BVD 5, KTPI 5, Pertjaja Luhur 4, The Progressive Development Alliance 3, DA '91 2, OPDA 2

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices nominated for life)

    Political parties and leaders: The New Front or NF (a coalition of three parties NPS, VHP, SPA) [Ronald R. VENETIAAN]; Progressive Reform Party or VHP [Jaggernath LACHMON]; National Party of Suriname or NPS [Ronald VENETIAAN]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Suriname Labor Party or SPA [Fred DERBY]; Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the AF and BEP, formed in January 1991) [Winston JESSURUN]; Alternative Forum or AF [Rick VAN RAVENSWAY]; Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Caprino ALLENDY]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of two parties, HPP and PVF) [Harry KISOENSINGH]; Democratic Party or DP [Frank PLAYFAIR]; Reformed Progressive Party or HPP [Harry KISOENSINGH]; Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF [Jwan SITAL]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Atta MUNGRA]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Union for Liberation and Democracy [Kofi AFONGPONG]; Mandela Bushnegro Liberation Movement [Leendert ADAMS]; Tucayana Amazonica [Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO]; General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]

    International organization participation: ACP, Caricom, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arnold Theodoor HALFHIDE
    chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
    FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
    consulate(s) general: Miami

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis K. HAYS
    embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1821, American Embassy Paramaribo, Department of State, Washington, DC, 20521-3390
    telephone: [597] 472900, 477881, 476459
    FAX: [597] 420800

    Flag description: five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); there is a large, yellow, five-pointed star centered in the red band

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)