The duo were elected this morning by acclamation at the extraordinary public meeting of parliament, and will officially be installed on Thursday July 16 at 10:00 a.m.
President elect Santokhi, in his acceptance speech called his election “a sacred mission” in which “There will be no room for corruption, personal interest and personal gain. As President, I promise to be regularly accountable in DNA and listen to the voice of the people. It is a privilege to fulfill this office and I accept it with reverence. From this moment on, a new phase begins: the process of working on the reconstruction of Suriname.”
The president elect called for unity in tackling the country’s financial challenges, as the nation was "on the brink of financial collapse. We are balancing on the edge of an international default."
“without unity, our country has no future. We are on the brink of financial collapse. We must all realize this. This crisis is beyond any worst-case scenario we expected. We will have to tackle the crisis together. We will succeed! We have no time to waste. We don't have time for games,” Santokhi declared.
President Desi Bouterse congratulated the new leaders, noting that “ the people have spoken. On behalf of our government and our people, I congratulate the new President and Vice President. It will not be an easy job, but it can be done if we work together put your shoulders to the wheel. Power ini a wroko and krakti. If you need me, you will find me. God be your Leader!"
Bouterse, was elected president in the former Dutch colony in 2010 after initially seizing power in 1980 and ruling for seven years.
Now 72, Bouterse seized power briefly a second time in a bloodless coup in 1990. In November, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a military court for ordering executions during his first period in power, in 1982.
Bouterse appealed his conviction, and the case was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Santohki's Progressive Reform party won 20 seats in the May 25 elections, enough to form a coalition government with the General Liberation and Development Party (Abop) of Ronnie Brunswijk, who will be vice-president.
Brunswijk is a former rebel leader who fought a civil war against Bouterse in the late 1980s.
Suriname, on the north-eastern shoulder of South America, shares a border with Guyana, Brazil and French Guiana.
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