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Suriname General Election Results - 25 May 2005
Suriname National Assembly

Parliamentary General Elections were held in Suriname on 25 May 2005 for all 51 seats in the National Assembly.

Electoral System

The 51 members in the unicameral National Assembly are elected from 10 constituencies on the basis of a party-list proportional representation system that involves preferential voting. The 10 electoral constituencies are coterminous with the ten administrative districts of Suriname. The National Assembly subsequently elects the President.

Background

After becoming President in 1991 Mr. Venetiaan took serious measures to combat high inflation and volatile exchange rates. Although some of his policies were deemed unpopular they are credited for the stable currency and budget surplus. His main rival Mr. Bouterse appealed to young and poor voters arguing that the NF coalition had not improved people's lives. 

Political Parties & Candidates

Of the nine political organizations presenting a toral of 383 candidates for the 25 May 2005 election three were expected to be the main contenders. The NF coalition led by President Ronald Venetiaan the National Democratic Party (NDP) led by former military ruler Mr. Desl Bouterse who dominated the country's political scene in the 1980s and the Coalition for People's Alliance for Prosperity (VVV) of former president Jules Wijdenbosh. These political groups had respectively won 33 seven and 5 seats in the 2000 election. President Venetiaan needed a two-thirds majority (34 votes) in the National Assembly to secure his position. 

Campaign

The polls went off without any serious incidents. Observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS) praised the country for a peaceful and orderly election. Turnout was low due to rain on polling day. 

Two parties of international election monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) were sent to observe the election. The observers from CARICOM congratulated Suriname on the conduct of the election and described the behaviour of the people of Suriname as an example for the Caribbean. The OAS observers also described the election as having been peaceful and having taken place in a friendly atmosphere.

Results

The final results indicated a complex political situation with no party securing a majority. The NF coalition came in first but its number of seats was reduced to 23. The NDP more than doubled its representation to 15 seats while the VVV took five. The A Combination representing the Maroons (descendants of former slaves) entered the Assembly for the first time with five seats. The group is led by Mr. Ronnie Brunswijk a former jungle rebel leader who fought against Mr. Bouterse during the Bush War in 1986. The remaining three seats went to the electoral coalition Alternative-1 (A-1) composed of four parties. After the election one member of the A-1 group (from the DA'91 party) joined the ruling coalition. The two remaining elected members of A-1 joined the opposition. 

Members were sworn in on 30 June 2005 and elected Mr. Paul Salam Somohardjo as speaker. 

In a parliamentary vote to elect the president on 19 July no candidate secured the necessary two-thirds majority of 34 votes. Mr. Venetiaan obtained 27 votes against 20 for Mr. Parmessar. A second vote on 26 July produced the same result as the first round. Under the Surinamese Constitution the United People's Assembly a 891-member body representing district and regional councils elects the new president when parliament fails to reach an agreement. The regional body therefore convened on 3 August and re-elected Mr. Ronald Venetiaan as president with 560 votes. He was sworn in on 12 August 2005.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 46.98%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System Proportional Representation
Elected Members 51 seats in 10 multi-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Votes Cast 155,888
Registered Voters 333,985
Voter Turnout 46.98%
   
ELECTION REPORTS
CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission Preliminary Report Download report
OAS Electoral Observation Mission Preliminary Report Download report
PARTY MANIFESTOS View all Members of Parliament of Barbados
Download
NF 2005 Manifesto
   
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party/Alliance Code Votes Seats
Total % votes Number Change
  New Front for Democracy and Development Winner NF 86,690 41.08% 23 +14
  National Democratic Party NDP 48,879 23.16% 15 +15
  People's Alliance for Progress VVV 30,352 14.38% 5 New
  A Combinatie AC 15,867 7.52% 5 New
  Alternative 1 A1 12,901 6.11% 3 New
  Union of Progressive Surinamese - Party for Democracy and Development and through Unity UPS-DOE 10,293 4.88% - New
  National Union NU 272 0.13% - New
  Progressive Workers' and Farmers' Union PALU 1,958 0.93% - -
  New Suriname NS 3460 1.64% - New
  Progressive Politeke Partij PPP 370 0.18% - New
  Total   211,042 100% 51 -
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 POLITICAL PARTIES learn more
NDP - National Democratic Party
VHP - Progressive Reform Party
PL - Pertjajah Luhur 
ABOP - General Liberation and Development Party 
BEP - Brotherhood and Unity in Politics
NPS - National Party of Suriname
PALU - Progressive Workers' and Farmers' Union
DOE - Party for Democracy and Development through Unity
 PARTY MANIFESTOS learn more
Download DRS 2015 Manifesto
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 POPULAR RESOURCES learn more
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Sources
The Independent Electoral Council Central Polling Authority
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