National Assembly

De Nationale Assemblée
8th Surinamese National Assembly
Marinus Bee, ABOP
since 14 July 2020
Dew Sharman, VHP
since 29 June 2020
Political groups
Government (30)
  •   VHP (20)
  •   ABOP (8)[a]
  •   PL (2)[a]

Opposition (21)

Open list proportional representation
Last election
25 May 2020
Next election
Meeting place
Buiten-Sociëteit Het Park

The National Assembly (Dutch: De Nationale Assemblée, commonly abbreviated "DNA") is the Parliament, representing the legislative branch of government in Suriname. It is a unicameral legislature. The assembly has been situated in the former park house at the Independence Square in Paramaribo, after a fire destroyed the old building of representation on 1 August 1996.[1] A reconstruction of the old building was completed in 2022.

The 51 members of parliament are elected every five years by open list proportional representation on the basis of the country's component districts. The most recent elections were held on 25 May 2020. The current Chairman of the Assembly, Marinus Bee,[2] was appointed on 14 July 2020. Dew Sharman was appointed as Vice Chairman on 29 June 2020.[3]


The National Assembly in Paramaribo

The first representation was formed by the Colonial States, from 1866. The name was changed to Estates of Suriname in 1936. When Suriname became an independent republic on 25 November 1975, the representation was named Parliament of the Republic of Suriname. This Parliament was made inoperative during the coup d'état of 1980. In 1985, the Parliament was replaced by an appointed Assembly. The National Assembly, in its current form, dates from 1987. In that year, democracy was reestablished after the coup and a new constitution was adopted, organizing the Assembly, so new elections could be held on 25 November 1987. From here on, elections were held.[1]

In some cases, a two-thirds majority is required, like the election of the President. If those votes fail, De Verenigde Volksvergadering (the United People's Assembly) is called. In those meetings, the Districts and Resorts will participate, and vote on the issue by majority.[4]

Chairmen since 1975

National Assembly from the Suriname River

From December 1973, Emile Wijntuin was the Chairman of the Estates of Suriname, and remained Chairman of Parliament after Independence, until it was dissolved in August 1980.[5][6]

After the elections in 1987, Jagernath Lachmon (VHP) became Chairman, an office which he already had taken twice in the Estates of Suriname.[5] Lachmon resigned in 1996, because he could not agree with the Wijdenbosch government.

On 10 October 1996, Marijke Djwalapersad (BVD) was elected as Chair, becoming the first woman in Suriname's history to assume this office.[7] On 24 July 2000, Djwalapersad was succeeded by Jagernath Lachmon, who remained in office until his death in 2001.[8] His fellow party man Ramdien Sardjoe took his place.[5]

After the elections of 2005, Paul Somohardjo of Pertjajah Luhur (a party that was part of the New Front combination) wanted to become Vice President of Suriname. This did not seem feasible, since he was convicted in August 2003 for defamation, which resulted in a suspended two-month sentence and his removal as minister.[9] Within the coalition was decided to make Ramdien Sardjoe vice president[10] and Somohardjo Chairman of the National Assembly.[5]

On 30 June 2005, Somohardjo was elected to the proposed office with 29 out of 50 votes.[11] Caprino Alendy (BEP/A-Combination) was elected as vice-Chairman, with the same number of votes.[12]

On 30 June 2010, Jennifer Simons of Dési Bouterse's NDP/MC surprisingly won the office from Somohardjo, with 26 votes against 24 votes, and became the incumbent Chair of the Assembly.[13] Ruth Wijdenbosch was elected as Vice Chair with 25 votes, one more than her rival, Anton Paal (PALU/MC).[14] Remarkable is the fact that this is the first time that these offices are held by opposing politicians. It is also the first time that both offices are held by women.

On 29 June 2020, Ronnie Brunswijk was elected as Chairperson of the National Assembly in an uncontested election. Dew Sharman was elected as Vice Chairperson.[3] After Brunswijk was elected Vice President of Suriname on 13 July 2020, Marinus Bee was installed as his successor on 14 July 2020.[2]


See also: 2020 Surinamese general election and List of members of the National Assembly (Suriname), 2020–2025

In the elections of 25 May 2020, the 51 parliamentary seats were allocated as follows:

Progressive Reform Party108,37839.4520+11
National Democratic Party65,86223.9716–10
National Party of Suriname32,39411.793+1
General Liberation and Development Party[a]24,9569.088+3
Pertjajah Luhur[a]16,6236.052–3
Reform and Renewal Movement7,4232.700New
Brotherhood and Unity in Politics6,8352.4920
Alternative 2020 [nl]4,5011.640New
Democracy and Development through Unity2,3750.860–1
Party for Law and Development [nl]–Amazon Party [nl]1,5930.5800
Surinamese Labour Party9220.3400
Progressive Workers' and Farmers' Union8200.300–1
STREI! [nl]7000.250New
Democratic Alternative '916590.2400
People's Party for Renewal and Democracy [nl]3490.1300
Social Democratic Union [nl]2540.090New
The New Wind [nl]700.030New
Valid votes274,71496.79
Invalid/blank votes9,1203.21
Total votes283,834100.00
Registered voters/turnout383,33374.04
Source: Centraal Hoofdstembureau

See also


  1. ^ a b c d ABOP member Miquella Soemar-Huur was elected as lijstduwer on PL's list in Wanica, and is included in PL's seat total.


  1. ^ a b "Geschiedenis DNA". De National Assemblée. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Marinus Bee neemt vandaag voorzitterschap DNA over". (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Live blog: Verkiezing parlementsvoorzitter". De Ware Tijd (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  4. ^ "De Verenigde Volksvergadering". National Assembly (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "De Nationale Assemblée: Lijst van Oud-Voorzitters" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  6. ^ "The Year of the Sergeants" by Edward Dew in the Caribbean Review
  7. ^ "Marijke Djwalapersad: eerste vrouwelijke parlementsvoorzitter in Suriname". Vijf eeuwen migratie (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Familie Lachmon plaatst bloemstuk bij standbeeld". Dagblad Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Javanen in de politiek: Morat Marit". Dagblad Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Vervolg Proloog". Ramdien Sardjoe (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Verkiezingen Verenigde Volks Vergadering". Anda Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  12. ^ "BEP- Partij voor Broederschap en Eenheid in de Politiek". Star Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Geerlings-Simons herkozen als voorzitter met 1 stem uit oppositie" (in Dutch). De Surinaamse Krant. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Jenny Simons nieuwe DNA-voorzitter en Ruth Wijdenbosch vice-voorzitter". (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2020.

5°49′32″N 55°9′2″W / 5.82556°N 55.15056°W / 5.82556; -55.15056