Suriname Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Suriname Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the state: Republic of Suriname (English: Republic of Suriname, Dutch: Republiek Suriname)

Suriname is a democratic republic founded on the constitution of 1987. The president is elected for a five-year term by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

The president is also the head of the government, whose members he appoints. The Vice President is elected for a five-year term at the same time as the President by a simple majority in the National Assembly and is also the Deputy Prime Minister.

The unicameral National Assembly has 51 members elected for five years.

The last parliamentary elections were held in May 2020. The opposition party VHP (Vooruitstrevende Hervormings Partij/Progressive Reform Party), which heads the ruling coalition, won the election. Check diseaseslearning to learn more about Suriname political system.

At its first meeting on 13/07/2020, the newly established National Assembly elected a new Suriname president, who became Chandrikapersad Santokhi, chairman of the VHP. At the same time, Ronnie Brunswijk, chairman of the ABOP coalition, was elected to the position of new vice president. Composition of the government of the Republic of Suriname (as of 5/27/2021):

President and Prime Minister – Chandrikapersad Santokhi (VHP) Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister – Ronnie Brunswijk (ABOP) Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation – Albert Ramdin (VHP) Minister of the Interior – Bronto Somohardjo (PL) Minister of Defense – Krishna Mathoera ( VHP) Minister of Justice and Police – Kenneth Amoksi (ABOP) Minister of Economy, Business and Technological Innovation – Saskia Walden (VHP) Minister of Finance and Planning – Armand Achaibersing (VHP) Minister of Transport, Communications and Tourism – Albert Jubithana (ABOP) Minister of Agriculture, breeding and fishing – Prahlad Sewdien (VHP) Minister of Land Policy and Forestry – Dinotha Vorswijk (ABOP) Minister of Natural Resources – David Abiamofo (ABOP) Minister of Public Works – Riad Nurmohamed (VHP) Minister of Labour,of Employment and Youth – Rishma Kuldipsingh (VHP) Minister of Regional Development and Sports – Diana Pokie (ABOP) Minister of Social Affairs and Housing – Hanief Ramsaran (PL) Minister of Health – Amar Ramadhin (VHP) Minister of Education, Science and Culture – Marie Levens (NPS) Minister of Spatial Planning and Environment – Sylvano Tjong-Ahin (NPS)

Government policy

After winning the parliamentary elections in May 2020, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the chairman of the until now opposition VHP (Vooruitstrevende Hervormings Partij/Progressive Reform Party), which won 40% of the vote and 20 seats out of 51 in the newly established National Assembly, took over as president. Immediately after the elections, the victorious VHP formed a government coalition of a total of four political parties: VHP, ABOP (Algemene Bevrijdings en Ontwikkelings Partij/General Liberation and Development Party), NPS (Nationale Partij Suriname/National Party of Suriname) and PL (Pertjajah Luhur/Glorious Empire). In addition to the situation surrounding the state finances, which it inherited from the previous government, the new Surinamese government is currently struggling mainly with a loss of public trust in connection with the cooling of relations between the coalition government partners, by numerous allegations of nepotism and the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, with inflation reaching almost 59% in 2021. On the other hand, the government’s undisputed efforts to achieve economic stability, its involvement in the field of international cooperation and the consolidation of relations with the Netherlands can be evaluated positively. Legal and operational risks No improvement was noted in this area. A significant portion of land in Suriname remains under unclear ownership and without proper registration, which can cause serious problems even in a situation of economic growth. There is no right to independent access to land cadastres or the possibility of checking the owners. Courts are not sufficiently independent of government authorities. Corruption in the political and governmental environment is endemic. (This STI has been processed to a limited extent due to the fact that it is a post-accredited country.) Courts are not sufficiently independent of government authorities. Corruption in the political and governmental environment is endemic. (This STI has been processed to a limited extent due to the fact that it is a post-accredited country.)

Foreign policy of the country

Until the new government took office in July 2020, Suriname’s foreign policy lacked any dynamism, mainly due to the discredited personality of former President D. Bouters and the resulting international isolation of the country. Check themotorcyclers for Suriname defense and foreign policy.

The new government practically immediately declared an interest in strengthening diplomatic ties with its existing foreign partners and at the same time an interest in finding new partners across all continents.

Suriname maintains traditionally above-standard relations in Europe with the Netherlands (with regard to the colonial past), France and Norway, in Africa with Morocco, Ghana and Turkey. In America then with Guyana, Brazil, USA, Canada, Chile and Mexico and in Asia with China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Cooperation between Suriname and neighboring Guyana is very close, in practically all areas.

As for the current territorial dispute between Suriname and Guyana, in 2022 the joint Council for cooperation between the two countries continues to work on this issue with the aim of settling the dispute amicably. Relations with neighboring French Guiana are disturbed by the situation on the border river Marowijne, which is negatively affected by illegal mining and the flow is heavily polluted, especially by mercury.

French security forces have often seized and destroyed the equipment of illegal Surinamese miners in the past. Both countries are committed to finding a common solution through technical consultations. In 2021, two new agreements were concluded between Suriname and France in this context. The first to clarify the demarcation of the common border on the Marowijne and Lawa rivers in accordance with the 1915 convention, and the second to promote the economic development of the border area and establish joint control over the two rivers. In August 2021, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana entered into a mutual agreement to strengthen regional security and defense cooperation.

Population

Demographic composition: 14 years: 27.7% 15-59 years: 62.0% Over 60 years: 10.3% Ethnic composition: 37% Hindus – descendants of Indians 31% Creoles 15% Javanese 10% Maroons – descendants of Africans 2% Amerindian 2% Chinese 2% other 1% white

Religious composition: Christians: 48% (Protestants 25%, Catholics 23%) Hindus: 27% Muslims: 20% Indigenous faiths: 5%