August 2020 \ Diaspora News \ FOCUS—CARIBBEAN
Indian-origin leader elected Suriname President

Chandrikapersad Santokhi has been elected the President ...

By Arul Louis

Mr Ashook Ramsaran, President of the Indian Diaspora Council International presents a copy of the Global Indian Diaspora book to Mr Albert Ramdin, Foreign Minister of Suriname. Mr Ramsaran was formerly president, GOPIO

Till then it may need bailouts from international financial institutions and the Netherlands, whose colony it once was. Relations with the Netherlands and other western countries had deteriorated under Bouterse, first because of the coup and after his election due to his convictions and his drift to Venezuela and China. Sanotokhi will have to try to repair relations with the west. He also faces the strange task of having to deal with Bouterse’s conviction by a Suriname court for the killing of 15 opponents after the 1980 coup in which he overthrew the elected government and seized power.

Sentenced to 20 years, Bouterse had appealed the conviction while he was President. Santokhi had investigated the case while he was with the police. Santokhi, 61, was trained in a police academy in the Netherlands and rose to be the chief police commissioner of Suriname. He later served as the Justice Minister in an earlier administration in 2005. After Santokhi became its president in 2011, the PRP began to broaden its base reaching out to people of other ethnicities with its centre-left policies.

Tags: Arul Louis