Mercosur associate, Suriname elected a new president Monday, ending the dictatorial rule of Desi Bouterse. Chan Santokhi, an Indian-origin former police chief, won a landslide victory in the general elections conducted in the country in May.
A court in Suriname on Friday convicted President Desi Bouterse of murder for the execution of 15 opponents in 1982 following a coup to seize power, sentencing the man who has dominated the former Dutch colony's recent history to 20 years in prison.
Against the background of what he said were continued territorial threats from both Venezuela and Suriname, Guyana President David Granger has announced a Total National Defense Policy.
The son of Suriname's president has been charged by the United States with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Dino Bouterse was allegedly paid millions of dollars to provide a base and weapons for Hezbollah fighters.
Suriname opposition legislators have called on President Desi Bouterse to resign as well as to clarify the circumstances surrounding the arrest of his son by United States law enforcement authorities in Panama earlier this week.
The Republic of Suriname on Tuesday became the latest South American country to officially recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, Palestinian Authority Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki said.