The former minister of Justice of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the leader of the main political organization of the opposition, was elected president on Monday, succeeding Desi Bouterse, who has dominated the country’s political life for decades.
Mr. Santokhi, 61 years old, was elected by the unicameral Parliament for a term of five years at the helm of this country of some 600,000 inhabitants, the border with French Guiana, exporter of gold and oil.
He has affirmed before the Assembly that he inherited a country on the verge of financial collapse”.
The electoral Council has confirmed in June that Desi Bouterse had lost the elections last may, after weeks of controversy around the final result.
Chandrikapersad Santokhi will begin his mandate on Thursday.
Desi Bouterse, 74 years of age, was dictator from 1980 to 1987. He was convicted in 1999 in the netherlands to 11 years in prison in absentia for cocaine trafficking, a charge he rejects.
He has produced a double blow in 2010 by being elected democratically to the presidency, winning immunity and returning to power at the same time. He was re-elected in 2015.
But last year, he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in the case of the “murders of December”. The dictatorship he headed from then, in 1982, had run 15 persons close to the opposition.
Desi Bouterse has appealed the conviction, but the hearing was postponed due to the pandemic of novel coronavirus.