De democratische rechtsstaat Suriname: De ontwikkeling in de periode 1975 - 2020

Translated title of the contribution: The Democratic Constitutional State of Suriname: Developments during the period 1975-2020

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Since November 25, 1975, the South American country of Suriname became an independent republic after separating from its former colonizer, the Netherlands. The constitution of the young republic was hastily drafted in 1975. Over a period of more than 25 years, the Surinamese people developed their constitutional framework for democracy, which was later added to the current constitution. According to Dr. Jules Sedney, former Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister of Suriname, the Surinamese people's views on democracy have evolved over time to meet the needs and aspirations of the Surinamese citizens. These views are part of Suriname's political heritage. To test this, this study examines the presence and development of various democracy ideals, which are divided into indicators.

The independent Surinamese rule of law has gone through several phases, including its "birth" in 1975, the military takeover from 1980 to 1987, and the rebuilding phase after the military coup. Many believe that there was little democracy during the period of 1980-1987 due to the well-known military coup led by Desi Bouterse, who was later elected president through democratic means. It is claimed that there was no functional constitution during this period, and the people had no say. In this case, the question arises: "What are the actors' views on democracy?"

This research is conducted from a public administration perspective, with a focus on the presence and further development of democratic elements during the period of 1975-2020. The main research question is: "How has the democratic state of the Surinamese rule of law developed in terms of democratic principles and scientific characteristics during the period of 1975-2020?"

The democracy ideals are the yardstick for the presence and development of democracy in the Surinamese rule of law. The thesis analyzes to what extent Suriname can speak of democracy during the period from 1975 to 2020.

1975 – 1980 1980 – 1987 1987 – 2020
State organization
Freedom of association and assembly
Freedom of expression
Right to vote ? ? ?
Eligibility for public office
Independent sources of information
Participation forums

The goal of this research is to contribute to the further development of Suriname's democratic rule of law based on scientific analysis. The aim is to achieve this by answering the main research question and providing recommendations. However, the improvement is a human endeavor, and a culture change must be brought about in some areas, such as the prioritization of political party interests over public interests. Or being open to new, refreshing personalities in politics instead of promoting people from within their own ranks. Or sharing all information with Parliament and society and formalizing it with the presence of a Freedom of Information Act. These adjustments require a mind shift and involve time and education.

Translated title of the contributionThe Democratic Constitutional State of Suriname: Developments during the period 1975-2020
Original languageDutch
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Edelenbos, Jurian, Supervisor
  • Stapelbroek, Koen, Co-supervisor
Award date16 Nov 2023
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023

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