kids encyclopedia robot

President of Suriname facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
President of the Republic of Suriname
Flag of the President of Suriname.svg
Standard of the president of Suriname
Чандрикаперсад Сантохи (cropped) v3.jpeg
Chan Santokhi

since 16 July 2020
Style Mr. President (Informal)
His Excellency (Diplomatic)
Residence Presidential Palace
Seat Paramaribo
Appointer National Assembly
Term length Five years, renewable indefinitely
Constituting instrument Constitution of Suriname
Precursor Governor-General
Inaugural holder Johan Ferrier
Formation 25 November 1975
Deputy Vice President
Salary 4,646,552 Surinamese dollars/133,560 USD annually
Website Cabinet of the President

The president of the Republic of Suriname (Dutch: President van de Republiek Suriname) is, in accordance with the Constitution of 1987, the head of state and head of government of Suriname, and commander-in-chief of the Suriname National Army (SNL). The president also appoints a cabinet.

The current president is Chan Santokhi, a former chief of police. He is affiliated with the Progressive Reform Party (VHP). Santokhi was elected on 13 July 2020 as president by acclamation in an uncontested election, and inaugurated on 16 July on the Onafhankelijkheidsplein in Paramaribo in a ceremony without the public presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The office of president was created upon independence from the Netherlands in 1975. Until 1987, the presidency was mostly a ceremonial post, discharging most of the functions previously vested in the monarchy of the Netherlands. For all intents and purposes, real power was vested in the prime minister.

The first officeholder was Johan Ferrier, a schoolteacher and veteran politician who had served as governor since 1968. He resigned as president in August 1980, several months after a coup d'état. From then until 1988, the presidents were essentially army-installed puppets of army commander Dési Bouterse, who ruled as a de facto military dictator with few practical checks on his power.

Bouterse allowed multiparty elections in 1987, shortly after the current constitution was approved in a referendum. The presidency became an executive post, with duties and responsibilities similar to those of presidents in semi-presidential republics. On 24 December 1990, two days after Bouterse's resignation as army commander, the army called president Ramsewak Shankar to inform him that he and his cabinet were removed from office, in another coup d'état; police chief and acting army commander Ivan Graanoogst was appointed acting president. On 27 December 1990, Johannes Kraag became the president. The army returned power to civilians in 1991, and the president has been freely elected ever since.


The president and a vice president are elected by no less than a two-thirds supermajority of members in the National Assembly to a five-year mandate and are accountable to the Assembly. During their time in office, the president must forfeit any additional posts in politics or business.


A candidate must be a Surinamese national (resident in the country for at least six years) who is at least 30 years of age. A candidate must win at least two-thirds of the votes in the Assembly to be elected. If no candidate wins two-thirds after three rounds, the vote then goes to the United People's Congress, composed of the Assembly and local government officials. In this case, a simple majority is required.

Powers and duties

The president is vested with extensive functional powers. The president names and dismisses ministers, signs bills, and names and dismisses diplomatic staff. He declares war and states of emergency with the ratification of the National Assembly. He concludes foreign treaties and agreements, again with the assent of the Assembly. He also exercises ceremonial duties such as conferring awards, receiving foreign diplomats, and granting pardons.

List of presidents

Political parties

     National Party of Suriname (NPS)      Nationalist Republican Party (PNR)      Progressive Reform Party (VHP)      National Democratic Party (NDP)      Independent

President Term of office Political party Vice president(s)
No. Portrait Name
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Johan Ferrier 928-2995 (cropped).jpg Johan Ferrier
25 November 1975 13 August 1980
4 years, 262 days NPS Position not established
2 Henk Chin a Sen 934-1376 (cropped).jpg Henk Chin A Sen
15 August 1980 4 February 1982
1 year, 173 days PNR
3 L.F.Ramdat Misier (cropped).jpg Fred Ramdat Misier
8 February 1982 25 January 1988 5 years, 351 days Independent
4 No image.png Ramsewak Shankar
(born 1937)
25 January 1988 24 December 1990
2 years, 333 days VHP Henck Arron
5 Minister van Sociale Zaken van Suriname dhr Kraag voor besprekingen in Holland , Bestanddeelnr 915-4476 (cropped).jpg Johan Kraag
29 December 1990 16 September 1991 261 days NPS Jules Wijdenbosch
6 Ronald Venetiaan.jpg Ronald Venetiaan
(born 1936)
16 September 1991 15 September 1996 4 years, 365 days NPS Jules Ajodhia
7 JulesWijdenbosch2017.jpg Jules Wijdenbosch
(born 1941)
15 September 1996 12 August 2000 3 years, 332 days NDP Pretaap Radhakishun
(6) Ronald Venetiaan.jpg Ronald Venetiaan
(born 1936)
12 August 2000 12 August 2010 10 years NPS Jules Ajodhia
Ramdien Sardjoe
8 Дези Баутерсе.jpg Dési Bouterse
(born 1945)
12 August 2010 16 July 2020 9 years, 339 days NDP Robert Ameerali
Ashwin Adhin
9 Чандрикаперсад Сантохи (cropped) v3.jpeg Chan Santokhi
(born 1959)
16 July 2020 Incumbent 3 years, 275 days
(as of April 16, 2024)
VHP Ronnie Brunswijk


Chan Santokhi Dési Bouterse Jules Wijdenbosch Ronald Venetiaan Johan Kraag Ramsewak Shankar Fred Ramdat Misier Henk Chin A Sen Johan Ferrier

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Presidente de Surinam para niños

  • Politics of Suriname
  • First Lady of Suriname
  • List of colonial governors of Suriname
  • Vice President of Suriname
  • List of prime ministers of Suriname
  • List of deputy prime ministers of Suriname
kids search engine
President of Suriname Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.