PARAMARIBO –– The incumbent National Democratic Party (NDP) has won another term in office, taking more than half of the 51 seats up for grabs in yesterday’s general election.
Preliminary results show the Desi Bouterse-led NDP won 27 seats, with 80 per cent of the votes counted.
The V7 coalition of six parties led by former justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi secured 17 seats. Five of the other seats have gone to the Alternative Combination, while the remaining two seats went to the Party for Democracy and Development in Unity (DOE) and Progressive Workers and Farmers Union (PALU).
To serve as president for a second five-year term, 69-year-old Bouterse needs at least 34 lawmakers –– two thirds of those sitting in the National Assembly –– to vote for him when the National Assembly chooses a president in a few weeks.
Although the results are only preliminary, NDP supporters have been celebrating.
Santokhi said he was still waiting for the official results, but admitted that he was disappointed at the outcome, saying it was “worse than I had expected”.
“We did not make it. That is a disappointment. The voters have spoken and we have to respect that,” he said.