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Protesters in Suriname demand resignation of president

Published:Friday | March 24, 2023 | 2:37 PM
Marge Getrouw, one of the leaders of the protest action, hands over the draft law to Assembly Chairman Marinus Bee. (Photo courtesy Sat Nieuws)

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) — A few hundred protesters gathered in Suriname's capital on Friday to demand that the president of the South American country resign.

They accused the administration of President Chan Santokhi of trying to postpone the 2025 general election, which can't be organised until legislators amend an electoral law as required by a court ruling last year that aims to create a fairer voting system.

Earlier this week, the government set up a committee that submitted two proposals to amend the electoral law, with Santokhi saying the bill would be presented to legislators within two months.

But activists are demanding that the law be approved within a week, even though the chairman of Suriname's National Assembly warned Thursday that that won't be enough time.

Activist Maisha Neus said she would organise more protests if there's a delay.

“We will hit them where it hurts. Economically,” she said.

It is the second such protest since mid-February, when demonstrators stormed Parliament to decry the end of government subsidies that has led to a spike in the cost of power, fuel and water.

The mob clashed with police that day, who arrested at least 126 people after initially being taken aback by the fury and size of the crowd.

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