Opposition Leads Preliminary Suriname Election Vote Count

PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Official results of general elections in the Caribbean community (CARICOM) nation of Suriname were still unknown through the end of last month, but a preliminary count of votes showed the Opposition Progressive Reform Party (VHP) held a majority of seats in the National Assembly.

According to the Electoral Observer Mission (CEOM), “up to this point in time” the May 25 elections, Suriname had successfully staged “a free, fair, transparent, and credible election.”

Preliminary figures showed VHP, the largest party in the Oppositio, headed by former Justice Minister Chandrikapersad (Chan) Santokhi, had secured 20 seats. The Algemene Bevrijdings-en Ontwikkelingspartij (ABOP), headed by former rebel leader Ronnie Brunswijk, had won eight.

The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Desi Bouterse, according to the preliminary results, had won 16 seats in the elections, down from the 26 seats it had enjoyed in the last 51-member National Assembly. At the end of May Bouterse urged voters to await the final official results of the elections.

Meanwhile, Santokhi said he expected the NDP to cooperate in electing the new president to the National Assembly.