History of Suriname
Before the advent of Europeans, Arawak and Carib tribes lived on the territory of modern Suriname. This part of the continent was first explored in 1499 by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda. In 1551, Dutch merchants founded a small trading post on the banks of the Suriname River. In con. 16th century Suriname was captured by the Spanish, and in 1630 by the English colonizers. Under the peace treaty of 1667, Great Britain ceded the territory of Suriname to the Netherlands in exchange for New Amsterdam (now New York). Until con. 18th century Suriname was ruled by a Dutch governor. In 1799, Suriname was again captured by Great Britain, but in 1802 it went to the Netherlands, which was secured by the Treaty of London in 1814. In 1866, Suriname received the status of a colony of the Netherlands under the name of Netherlands Guiana. The colony was governed by a political council, which in 1866 became the Colonial States. After slavery was abolished in 1863, the Dutch began to import labor from India, Indonesia, China, and other countries, which led to the formation of an ethnically diverse society in Suriname. In 1922, the status of Suriname was changed, which received the official name of “the annexed territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” In 1954 Suriname achieved autonomy.
November 25, 1975 was proclaimed an independent republic. On February 25, 1980, as a result of a coup led by non-commissioned officer D. Bouterse, power passed to the National Military Council, Parliament was dissolved, and the Constitution was suspended. However, as a result of external pressure and aggravation of the internal situation, the military were forced to agree to holding free elections in 1987, the adoption of a new Constitution and the transition of the country to a civilian form of government. Check diseaseslearning for political system of Suriname.
The elections in November 1987 were won by the Front for Democracy and Development as part of the National Party of Suriname, the Progressive Reform Party and the Union of Indonesian Peasants. R. Shankar was elected president, and H. Arron was elected vice-president, who faced serious problems on the way to the consolidation of Surinamese society. On December 24, 1990, army officers led by Bouterse again forced the president and vice president elected in 1987 to resign. But under pressure from the United States, other states, the OAS and international organizations, the government formed by the military held new elections on May 25, 1991. Most of the seats in the National Assembly were won by the New Front coalition.
In the elections in May 1996, the National Democratic Party, founded in 1987 by Bouters, won the largest number of seats (16 out of 51) in the National Assembly, and in September of the same year, with the support of the Party for National Unity and Solidarity, which left the New Front for Democracy, and other smaller parties was able to achieve the election of one of its leaders, Jules Weydenbos, as the president of the country. Internal strife in the coalition complicated the adoption of legislative acts in the National Assembly, which affected the effectiveness of the government’s actions in the face of deteriorating economic conditions. After mass demonstrations of protest in May 1999 due to rising inflation (up to 70% per year) and unemployment (up to 20%), on December 8, 1999, the president accepted the resignation of the government and called early elections.
In the elections in May 2000, the ruling bloc suffered a crushing defeat, the New Front coalition came to power again, coming out with a platform to strengthen the Surinamese economy. In August 2000, as in 1991, R. Venetian was elected president, and J. Ajodia was elected vice president.
State structure and political system of Suriname
Suriname is a unitary presidential-parliamentary republic based on a constitutional democratic form of government. The Constitution of 1987 is in force. Administratively, Suriname is divided into 10 districts, headed by a district commissioner appointed by the president of the country. Large cities: Paramaribo, Nieuw Nickerie, Mungo.
Legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Assembly, which consists of 51 deputies, elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for a term of 5 years. Executive power is exercised by the president, who appoints the government. The government is headed by a vice president who is also the prime minister. The President and Vice-President are elected by the National Assembly by a qualified majority of 2/3 votes, or in case of failure to obtain the required number of votes by the People’s Assembly by a simple majority for a period of 5 years. The People’s Assembly consists of deputies of the National Assembly, members of regional councils and councils of departments.
The head of state is R. Venetian. Vice President and Prime Minister – J. Ajodia. Chairman of the National Assembly – M. Dvalapersad.
In Suriname, a multi-party system has developed even before independence was declared, parties are built mainly along ethnic lines. The National Party of Suriname (NPS) plays a leading role. Its leader, Henk Arron, head of the coalition government, achieved the declaration of independence of Suriname in November 1975. After the elections in May 2000, the majority of deputy mandates (33 out of 51) were received by the New Front for Democracy coalition consisting of the NPS, the Progressive Reform Party, Perjaja Luhur and the Suriname Party labor.
Civil society is represented by trade unions (Progressive Trade Union Federation C-47, Progressive Workers Organization, Council of Trade Unions of Suriname).
The armed forces of Suriname are the National Army with small naval and air units, a civilian police corps.
Suriname has outstanding disputes with French Guiana and Guyana. The issue of delimiting the territorial sea between Suriname and Guyana has not been resolved.
Suriname has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (diplomatic relations between Suriname and the USSR were established on November 25, 1975).