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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
conventional short form: Suriname
local long form: Republiek Suriname
local short form: Suriname
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana

Data code: NS

Government type: constitutional democracy

Capital: Paramaribo

Administrative divisions: 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica

Independence: 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)

Constitution: ratified 30 September 1987

Legal system: based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jules WIJDENBOSCH (since 14 September 1996); Vice President Pretaapnarian RADHAKISHUN (since 14 September 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jules WIJDENBOSCH (since 14 September 1996); Vice President Pretaapnarian RADHAKISHUN (since 14 September 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a constitutional majority vote in the National Assembly after two votes, by the larger People's Assembly (869 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms; election last held 23 May 1996; runoff election held 5 September 1996 (next to be held NA May 2000)
note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the calling of elections a year early
election results: Jules WIJDENBOSCH elected president; percent of legislative vote - NA; National Assembly failed to elect the president; results reflect votes cast by the People's Assembly - Jules WIJDENBOSCH (NDP) received 438 votes, Ronald VENETIAAN (NF) received 407 votes

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or National Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 23 May 1996 (next to be held NA May 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 16, NF 14, BVD 5, KTPI 5, Pertjaja Luhur 4, The Progressive Development Alliance 3, DA '91 2, OPDA 2
note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the calling of elections a year early

Judicial branch: Court of Justice, justices nominated for life

Political parties and leaders: Alternative Forum or AF [Rick VAN RAVENSWAY]; Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the AF and BEP, formed in January 1991) [Winston JESSURUN]; Democratic Party or DP [Frank PLAYFAIR]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; National Party of Suriname or NPS [Ronald VENETIAAN]; Naya Kadam [Marijke DJWALAPERSAD]; Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Caprino ALLENDE]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Atta MUNGRA]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF [Jwan SITAL]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; Progressive Reform Party or VHP [Jaggernath LACHMON]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; Reformed Progressive Party or HPP [Harry KISOENSINGH]; Suriname Labor Party or SPA [Fred DERBY]; The New Front or NF (a coalition of four parties NPS, VHP, SPA, and Pertjaja Luhur) [Ronald R. VENETIAAN]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of two parties, HPP and PVF) [Harry KISOENSINGH]

Political pressure groups and leaders: General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; Mandela Bushnegro Liberation Movement [Leendert ADAMS]; Tucayana Amazonica [Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO]; Union for Liberation and Democracy [Kofi AFONGPONG]

International organization participation: ACP, Caricom, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Arnold Theodoor HALFHIDE
chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
consulate(s) general: Miami

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis K. HAYS
embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
mailing address: P. O. Box 1821, American Embassy Paramaribo, Department of State, Washington, DC, 20521-3390
telephone: [597] 472900, 477881, 476459
FAX: [597] 420800

Flag description: five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); there is a large, yellow, five-pointed star centered in the red band

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