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Weekly Report - 28 May 2020 (WR-20-21)

Bouterse facing defeat in Suriname

President Dési Bouterse’s grip on power in Suriname could be coming to an end. Provisional results from general elections on 25 May indicate that Bouterse’s ruling Nationale Democratische Partij (NDP) is on course not just to lose its majority in the 51-seat national assembly but also to be eclipsed by the main opposition Vooruitstrevende Hervormingspartij (VHP) as the party with the largest representation in Suriname’s legislature. This would make the VHP’s Chandrikapersad Santokhi the favourite to be elected president, but his election would not be assured. Santokhi would need to obtain the backing of legislators from other parties in order to secure the requisite two-thirds majority, and the NDP could still win enough seats to deny him this. The responsibility for electing the next president would then pass to the United People’s Assembly, where the NDP would be in a stronger position to exert its influence.

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