Government Structure

The Republic of Suriname is a democratic state based on the sovereignty of the people and on respect for and the guarantee of fundamental rights and liberties. The economic objectives of the Republic are aiming at the establishment of a national economy, free from foreign domination and in the interest of the nation. The Republic of Suriname recognizes and respects the rights of nations to self-determination and national interdependence on the basis of equality, sovereignty and mutual benefit and therefore promotes the development of the international legal order and supports the peaceful settlement of disputes. The most important human rights are enshrined in the Constitution or in other relevant laws. Suriname recognizes the rights mentioned in the Bill of Human Rights and other important Human Rights conventions of the United Nations and the Organization of American States

Political Democracy

All political power is vested in the people and exercised in accordance with the Constitution. The political democracy is characterized by the participation and representation of the Surinamese people, which expresses itself through the participation of the people in establishing a democratic political system, as well in their participation in legislation and administration aimed at the maintenance and expansion of the system.

Political Organizations

The State recognizes the right of citizens to establish political organizations and to participate in political activities. Political organizations however are obliged to respect the national sovereignty and democracy.


The national Assembly is the highest institution of the State and represents the People of the Republic. This body consists of 51 members, elected per district on the basis of general and free elections by secret ballot. Members of the National Assembly are elected for a term of five years. The exercise of legislative power is jointly in hands of the national Assembly and the Government.

The United People's Assembly

The United People's Assembly is made up of all 869 local, district and nationally elected officials: 712 Local Officials, 106 District Officials and 51 Parliamentarians. If non of the parties or coalitions represented in the National Assembly are able to elect a President or Vice President in the National Assembly, the Constitutions indicates that the United People's Assembly must be convened in order to choose the President and or Vice President.


The executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, who is elected by the National Assembly for a period of five years by a two-third majority of votes or by a common majority of votes in the United People's Assembly. The Vice-President of the Republic, who also chairs the Council of Ministers, is elected in the same way as the President.

The President

The President of the Republic of Suriname is the Head of State, Head of the Government, Chairman of the Council of State and of the Security Council. He is answerable to the National Assembly. The President has the supreme command over the armed forces and is in charge of foreign relations and therefore gives guidance to the overall foreign policy.

Some specific powers of the president:

  • constitutes the Council of Ministers;
  • directs the preparatory work for the Government program;
  • directs the activities of the Council of State;
  • appoints and remove Ministers from office;
  • ratifies approved bills and proposed state decrees;
  • suspends decisions of the Council of Ministers, and of ministers.

The President has among others the following powers in international relations:

  • to appoint, discharges, replaces, and suspends diplomatic representatives of the Republic;
  • to accredit or refuse accreditation of diplomatic representatives of other states;
  • to accept letters of credence from foreign diplomatic representatives.
The Council of State

The President is Chairman of the Council of State. This Council has among others the following tasks:

  • to advice the President in the execution of the Office of Head of Government;
  • to advice the Government on general policy matters and on the content of bills, as well as agreements under international law for which the approval of the National Assembly is required;
  • to advice the Government on proposed State decrees;
  • to pass its own standing orders, which shall be determined by State decree.
The National Security Council

When a state of war, or threat of war, or state of siege in case of a military aggression, or the state of civil or military emergency is declared, the National Security Council must be conveyed. The National Security Council then consists of:

  • the President, as Chairman;
  • the Vice-president, as Deputy Chairman;
  • the Minister of Defense;
  • the Minister of Justice and Police;
  • another member of the Council of Ministers (usually the Minister of Foreign Affairs);
  • the commander of the national Army;
  • the Chief of the Police Corps.


The Judiciary consists of the President and the Vice President of the Court of Justice, the members and deputy members of the Court of Justice, the Procurator General of the Court of Justice, two Attorneys General and the other members of the Public Prosecution Department. The administration of justice is in the hands of the President, the Vice-President, the members and deputy members of the Court of Justice who collectively constitute the Judiciary. The cognizance and adjudication of all lawsuits is exclusively entrusted to the Judiciary, unless the law states otherwise. The imposition of penalties and measures provided by law are also entrusted to the Judiciary.

The supreme body of the Judiciary entrusted with the administration of justice as mentioned above is called the High Court of Justice of Suriname. This Court supervises the regular course and settlement of all court proceedings. The High Court of Justice is also the highest appealed institution.

The Public Prosecutions Office

The Public Prosecutions Office is responsible for the judicial investigation, and is therefore charged with the prosecution of all punishable acts. The Public Prosecution before the Court of Justice is exercised by or on behalf of the Procurator General. The Procurator General represents the Republic in Court. This official is the Head of the Public Prosecution Department. The Procurator General has the power to give the officers who are entrusted with police tasks instructions for the prevention, detection and investigation of punishable acts.

The Constitutional Court

The Constitution provides for a Constitutional Court, however this judicial organ has not yet been installed. This Court will be an independent body composed of a President, Vice President and three members. Two of the most important tasks of this very important body will be to:

  • verify the purpose of Acts or parts thereof against the Constitution, and against applicable agreements concluded with other states and international organizations;
  • assess the consistency of decisions of government institutions with constitutional rights.

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