Republic of Suriname /
República de Suriname
1987 Constitution with Reforms of 1992
Constitución de 1987 Constitution con
Reformas de 1992
Last Updated / Última Actualización: January 22, 2002.
WE, THE PEOPLE OF SURINAME,
inspired by the love for this Country and the belief in the power of the Almighty and guided by
the centuries -long struggle of o ur people against colonialism, which was terminated by the
establishment of the Republic of Suriname on 25 November 1975,
taking the coup d’ètat of 25 February 1980 and the consequences thereof,
conscious of our duty to combat and to prevent every form o f foreign domination,
resolved to defend and protect the national sovereignty, independence and integrity,
assured of the will to determine our economic, social and cultural development in full freedom
convinced of our duty to honor and to guarantee the principles of freedom, equality and
democracy as well as the fundamental rights and freedoms of man,
inspired by a civic spirit and by the participation in the construction, expansion and maintenance
of a society that is socially just,
determined to collaborate with one another and with all peoples of the world on the basis of
freedom, equality, peaceful coexistence and international solidarity,
SOLEMNLY DECLARE, TO ACCEPT, AS A RESULT OF THE PLEBISCITE HELD,
THE FOLLOWING CONSTITUTION.
THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME
1. The Republic of Suriname is a democratic State based upon the sovereignty of the people
and on the respect and guarantee of the fundamental right and liberties.
2. The Suriname Natio n shall determine in full freedom its economic social and cultural
1. Suriname consists of the territory on the South American continent, which has been
defined as such.
2. The State shall not alienate any ter ritory or sovereign rights which it exercises over that
3. The extent and boundaries of the territorial waters and the rights of Suriname to the
adjacent continental shelf and the economic zone are determined by law.
1. Who is a Suriname national and who is a resident shall be decided by law.
2. Naturalization shall be regulated by law.
3. All Suriname citizens are allowed access into Suriname and are free to move about and to
reside within Suriname, except in the c ases, defined in the law.
4. All Suriname citizens shall be eligible for appointment to any public office in without
5. The law shall determine in which public offices foreigners can be appointed.
6. The admission of foreigners and their expulsio n shall be regulated by law.
7. The law shall determine the rules regarding the extradition of foreigners; extradition can
only be effected on the basis of a treaty and in the manner determined by law.
STATE AND SOCIETY
The conce rn of the State is aimed at:
a. The construction and maintenance of a national economy free from foreign domination;
b. A Secured means of livelihood for the entire nation;
c. Sufficient employment under the guarantee of freedom and justice;
d. The sharing of everyone in the economic, social and cultural development and progress;
e. Participation in the sense of citizenship during the construction, the expansion and the
maintenance of a just society;
f. Guaranteeing national unity and sovere ignty.
1. The economic objectives of the Republic of Suriname shall aim at the construction of a
national economy, free from foreign domination and in the interest of the Surinamese
2. The economic system within whi ch the social -economic development takes place shall be
characterized by joint, contemporaneous and equal functioning of state enterprises,
private enterprises, enterprises in which the State and private persons participate in
common and cooperative enterp rises, according to rules of law applicable in that matter.
3. It is the duty of the State to promote and to guarantee as much as possible all types of
The social objectives of the State shall aim at:
a. The identification of the potentialities for development of the own natural environment
and the enlarging of the capacities to ever more expand those potentialities;
b. Guaranteeing the participation of the community in the political life amon g other ways
through national, regional and sectoral participation;
c. Guaranteeing a government policy aimed at raising the standard of living and of well –
being of the society, based upon social justice, the integral and balanced development of
State and society;
d. An equitable distribution of the national income, directed towards a fair distribution of
well -being and wealth over all strata of the population;
e. Regional spreading of public utilities and economic activities;
f. The improvement of code termination by the employees in companies and production
units in the taking of decisions about production, economic development and planning;
g. Creating and improving the conditions necessary for the protection of nature and for
the preservation of the ecological balance.
1. The Republic of Suriname recognizes and respects the right of nations to self –
determination and national independence on the basis of equality, sovereignty and mutual
2. The Republi c of Suriname promotes the development of the international legal order and
supports the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
3. The Republic of Suriname rejects any armed aggression, any form of political and
economic pressure, as well as every di rect or indirect intervention in the domestic affairs
of other States.
4. The Republic of Suriname promotes the solidarity and collaboration with other peoples in
the combat against colonialism, neo -colonialism, racism, genocide and in the combat for
national liberation, peace and social progress.
5. The Republic of Suriname promotes the participation in international organizations with
a view to establishing peaceful coexistence, peace and progress for mankind.
BASIC RIGHTS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND
1. All who are within the territory of Suriname shall have an equal claim to protection of
person and property.
2. No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, race, language,
religi ous origin, education, political beliefs, economic position or any other status.
1. Everyone has a right to physical, mental and moral integrity.
2. No one may be submitted to torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.
Everyone shall have, in case of infringement of one’s rights and freedoms, a claim to an honest
and public treatment of his complaint within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial
No person may be kept against his will from t he judge whom the law assigns to him.
1. Everyone has the right to legal assistance before the courts
2. The law shall provide regulations with regard to legal aid for the financially weak.
Loss of civil rights or the general forfeitur e of all the property of an offender may not be imposed
as a penalty or as a consequence of a penalty for any crime.
Everyone has a right to life. This right shall be protected by the law.
No one shall be obliged to do forced or c ompulsory labor.
1. Everyone has the right to personal liberty and safety.
2. No one will be deprived of his freedom, other than on grounds and according to
proceedings determined by law.
3. Everyone who is deprived of his freedom has a right to a tr eatment in accordance with
1. Everyone has a right to respect of his privacy, his family life, his home and his honor and
2. No dwelling may be entered against the occupant’s will except by order of an authory
which has the power to give that order by virtue of law and subject to the conditions
prescribed by the law.
3. The confidentiality of correspondence, telephone and telegraph is inviolable except in the
cases described by law.
Everyone h as the right of freedom of religion and philosophy of life.
Everyone has the right to make public his thoughts or feelings and to express his opinion through
the printed press or other means of communication, subject to the responsibility of a ll as set forth
in the law.
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful association and assembly, taking into
consideration the rules to be determined by law for the protection of public order, safety, health
1. The r ight to demonstrate peacefully is recognized.
2. The use of that right can, for the protection of public order, safety, health and morality, be
submitted to limitation through the law.
1. Everyone has the right to submit written petitions to the co mpetent authority.
2. The law regulates the procedure for handling them.
In case of war, danger of war, state of siege or state of emergency or for reasons of state security,
public order and good morals, the rights mentioned in the Constitution may be submitted to
limitations by law, which will be in force during a certain time, depending on the circumstances,
in compliance with the international rules applicable in respect thereof.
CHAPTER VI SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC
FIGHTS AND OBLIGATION S
THE RIGHT TO WORK
The state shall take care of the creation of conditions in which an optimal satisfaction of the
basic needs for work, food, health care, education, energy, clothing and communication is
Labor is the most important means of human development and an important source of wealth.
1. Everyone has the right to work, in accordance with his capacities.
2. The duty to work is inseparably linked to the right to work.
3. Everyone has the right of free choice of profession and work, except for regulations
imposed by law.
4. Everyone has the right of initiative for economic production.
STATE CONCERN FOR LABOR
1. It shall be the duty of the State to guarantee the right to work, as much as possible by:
a. Following a planned policy, aimed at full employment;
b. Forbidding the discharge without sufficient cause or for political or ideological reasons;
c. Guarantee ing equal opportunity in the choice of profession and type of work and
forbidding that access to any function or profession by prevented or limited on grounds of
d. Promoting professional training for employees.
2. The State shall take care of the crea tion of conditions for the optimal promotion of
initiatives for economic production.
RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES
All employees have, independent of age, sex, race, nationality, religion or political opinions, the
a. Remunera tion for their work corresponding to quantity, type, quality and experience on
the basis of equal pay for equal work;
b. The performance of their task under humane conditions, in order to enable self –
c. Safe and healthy working condition;
d. Sufficient rest and recreation.
DUTIES OF THE STATE CONCERNING THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES
It is the duty of the State to indicate the conditions for work, remuneration and rest to which
employees are entitled, especially by:
a. Making regulations with regard to wages, time of work, about conditions and special
categories of workers;
b. Supplying special protection on the job for women before and after pregnancy, for
minors, disabled persons and for those who are engaged in wor k which demands special
efforts or who work in unhealthy or dangerous conditions.
FREEDOM OF TRADE UNIONS
1. Employees are free to establish trade unions to foster their rights and interests.
2. For the exercise of the rights of tra de unions the following freedoms are guaranteed
a. Freedom to join or not to join a trade union;
b. The right to participate in trade union activities.
3. Trade unions shall be governed by the principles of democratic organization and
man agement, based on regular elections of their boards of directors through secret ballot.
RIGHTS OF TRADE UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS
1. The trade unions shall have the power to defend the rights and interests of the employees
they represent and for whom they assume responsibility.
2. Trade unions shall be involved in:
a. The preparation of labor legislation;
b. The creation of institutions of social security and other institutions aimed at serving the
interests of employees;
c. The preparation for and the control of the execution of economic and social plans
3. Trade unions shall have the right to conclude collective labor agreements. The rules
concerning the powers to conclude collective labor agreements and the sp here of
application of their rules shall be determined by law.
RIGHTS OF EMPLOYERS
The associations for the defense of business entrepreneurs shall have the power to defend the
rights and interests of those whom they represent and for whom the y assume responsibility.
RIGHT TO STRIKE
The right to strike is recognized subject to the limitations which stem from the law.
RIGHT TO PROPERTY
1. Property, of the community as well as of the priva te person, shall fulfill a social function.
Everyone has the right to undisturbed enjoyment of his property subject to the limitations
which stem from the law.
2. Expropriation shall take place only in the general interest, pursuant to rules to be laid
down by law and against compensation guaranteed in advance.
3. Compensation need not be previously assured if in case of emergency immediate
expropriation is required.
4. In cases determined by or through the law, the right to compensation shall exist if the
compet ent public authority destroys or renders property unserviceable or restricts the
exercise of property rights for the public interest.
1. The family is recognized and protected.
2. Husband and wife are equal before the law .
3. Every child shall have the right to protection without any form of discrimination.
4. Parents shall have the same responsibilities towards legal or natural children.
5. The State recognizes the extraordinary value of motherhood.
6. Working women shall be entitled to paid maternity leave.
1. Everyone shall have a right to health.
2. The State shall promote the general health care by systematic improvement of living and
working conditions and shall give i nformation on the protection of health.
1. Young people shall enjoy special protection for the enjoyment of economic, social and
cultural rights, among which are:
a. Access to education, culture and work;
b. Vocational schooling;
c. Physical training, sports and recreation;
2. The primary goal of youth policy shall be the development of the personality of the
young person and of the concept of service to the community.
EDUCATION AND CULTURE
1. Everyone shall have a right to education and cultural expression.
2. Education shall be free, subject to State supervision of all public educational institutions,
in order that the national education policy and educational standards laid down b y the
State shall be observed.
3. The practice of science and technology shall be free.
4. The State shall promote the kind of education and the conditions under which school
education and other forms of education can contribute to the development of a
democra tic and socially just society.
5. The State shall promote the democratization of culture by promoting the enjoyment of
culture and cultural relations and through assuring the availability of those cultural
creations to all citizens by means of cultural and r ecreational organizations, information
media and other suitable channels.
The State shall recognize and guarantee the right of all citizens to education and shall offer them
equal opportunity for schooling. In th e execution of its education policy the State shall be under
a. To assure obligatory and free general primary education;
b. To assure durable education and to end analphabetism;
c. To enable all citizens to attain the highest levels of education, scientific research and
artistic creation, in accordance with their capacities;
d. To provide, in phases, free education on all levels;
e. To tune education to the productive and social needs of the society
THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
In order to promote the socioeconomic development towards a socially just society, a
development plan shall be determined by law, taking into consideration the national and
socioeconomic g oals of the State.
Natural riches and resources are property of the nation and shall be used to promote economic,
social and cultural development. The nation has the inalienable right to take complete possession
of its natural resources in ord er to utilize them to the benefit of the economic, social and cultural
development of Suriname.
1. The law shall guarantee that the mode of exercise of trade and industry is not contrary to
the national goals, the public interest and notably the public policy, health, morality and
2. The traffic of foreign currency shall be regulated by law.
The structure of the financial system shall be regulated by law in such a manner that by saving
and by the correct allocation of th e necessary financial means, investments in the productive
sector would be advanced.
The right to industrial property shall be regulated by law.
THE SOCIAL ORDER
The social order shall be based in principle on a socie ty, wherein all Suriname citizens have
equal rights and obligations.
The State shall create the conditions, which underlie the education of citizens who are capable of
participating in a democratic and effective manner in the development proce ss of the nation.
The State shall save and protect the cultural heritage of Suriname, shall promote its preservation
and promote the use of science and technology in the context of the national development aims.
1. The State shall su pervise the production and availability of and the trade in chemical,
biological, pharmaceutical and other products, intended for consumption, medical
treatment and diagnosis.
2. The State shall supervise all medical, pharmaceutical and paramedical practione rs and
3. The inspection of the products and functions mentioned in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be
regulated by law.
A housing plan shall be determined by law, aimed at the procurement of a sufficient number of
affordable houses and State control of the use of real estate for public housing.
The policy in relation to social security for widows, orphans, the aged, invalids and incapacitated
workers shall be indicated by law.
The State shall take care to make t he services of legal aid institutions accessible to those looking
PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRATIC STATE
1. All political power is vested in the people and shall be exercised in accordance with the
2. Political democracy is characterized by the participation and representation of the
Suriname people, which shall express itself through the participation of the people in
laying down a democratic political regime, and thr ough their participation in legislation
and administration, aimed at the upholding and expanding of this system. Political
democracy shall further create the conditions for the participation of the people in the
general, free and secret elections for the c omposition of representative organs and of the
3. Accountability to the people, supervision of government actions by institutions created
for that purpose and the right of revocation with regard to elected representatives are
guarantees for true democracy.
1. The State shall accept the freedom of citizens to create political organizations, subject to
the limitations which stem from the law.
2. Political organizations shall respect the national sover eignty and democracy.
3. In exercising their rights the political organizations shall take into account the following:
a. Their goals may not be in violation of or incompatible with the Constitution and the
b. The organization shall be accessible to the Suriname citizen, who fulfills criteria to be
defined by law provided that he agrees upon the basic principles of the party.
c. The internal organization must be democratic, which shall be evidenced inter alia by:
o regular committee elections;
o the pr erequisite that candidates proposed of the chamber of representatives shall
be elected within the party structures;
d. The electorate shall be informed of the political program and the election program of
the political organizations;
e. Annual publicatio ns of sources of income and accounts shall be made in the Official
Journal of the Republic of Suriname and at least one newspaper;
f. Their functioning shall be in accordance with principles of good administration, and
with prescribed legal rules for the guaranteeing of openness and transparency;
g. The drafting of a programme, with as sole goal the promotion of the national interest
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR THE FUNCTIONING OF THE STATE ORGANS
1. The State is obliged to register thos e with voting rights and to convoke them to
participate in the elections. The registration of the voters shall serve no other purpose.
Those with a right to vote are obliged to cooperate with the registration of the electorate.
2. For the organization and th e functioning of the state organs the following principles shall
a. Decisions of higher State organs shall be binding upon lower organs. This rule does not
apply to judicial organs;
b. Lower State organs shall be deemed to submit justification to the superior organs and
to give account of their work;
c. The administrative and executive institutions shall be subject to control by the
d. The freedom of discussio n, criticism and recognition of the minority by the majority
shall apply in all councils and organs of the State;
e. Those who hold political office shall be liable in civil and criminal law for their acts
f. Those who hold political offic e shall be under the obligation to fulfill their tasks in the
g. No one shall be nominated for life in a political office;
h. The central authority shall organize the regular dissemination of information on
government policy and state ad ministration, in order to allow the people to participate
optimally in the administrative structures. The lower administration shall have the
obligation to create a process of communication with the people, for the purpose of
making government answerable t o the public and to ensure the participation of the people
in policy -making.
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
ORGANIZATION AND COMPOSITION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1. The National Assembly represents the people of the Republic of S uriname and expresses
the sovereign will of the nation.
2. The National Assembly is the highest organ of the State.
ELECTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1. Members of the National Assembly shall be elected for a five -ye ar term.
2. The law can only derogate from the five -year term in case of war or other extraordinary
circumstances, which prevent the holding of elections.
1. The members of the National Assembly shall be elected directly by the inhabitants
having S uriname nationality and having reached the age of eighteen years.
2. Each elector shall have one vote only.
Those persons shall be debarred from exercising the right to vote:
a. To whom the right to vote has been denied by an irrevocable judici al decision;
b. Who are lawfully deprived of their liberty
c. Who, by virtue of an irrevocable judicial decision, have lost the right to dispose of or
administer their property on account of insanity or imbecility.
Eligible are the inhabitants who have Suriname nationality, who have reached the age of twenty –
one and have not been deprived of the right to vote on the grounds mentioned in the previous
article under (a) and (c).
Everything else relating to universal suffrage, the creation of an independent electoral council
and its authority the division of Suriname in electoral districts, the repartition of seats in the
National Assembly by electoral district and the methods according to which the allocatio n of
seats takes place shall be regulated by law. This law shall be passed with a 2/3 majority.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1. The National Assembly consists of 51 members chosen by district on the basis of general,
free a nd secret elections by virtue of the system of proportionate representation on the
highest number of average and preferential votes.
2. Persons who have submitted their candidacy for election as representatives in the
National Assembly shall live in said dis trict and shall have had their main or real
residence there during two years preceding the elections.
The law determines for which functions the membership of the National Assembly shall result in
the suspension from duty.
The sessions of the National Assembly and of the other representative organs on the local and
district levels coincide as much as possible.
When assuming office the members shall make the following oath or promise:
“I swear (p romise) that in order to be elected a member of the National Assembly I have not
given or promised, nor will give or promise, directly or indirectly, under whatsoever name or
pretext, anything to anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that in order to do or refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office, I
will not accept any promises or presents, directly or indirectly, from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that I will fulfill the office of member of the Assembly conscientiously.
I swear (promi se) that I will foster the well -being of Suriname to the best of my capacities.
I swear (promise) obedience to the Constitution and all other rules of law.
I swear (promise) allegiance to the Republic of Suriname. So help me, God Almighty (that I
declare and promise).”
Within thirty days at the latest after the members of the National Assembly are chosen, this
organ convenes under the chairmanship of the member most senior in years, and in cas e of
unavailability or absence, always by the next eldest member. In this meeting the National
Assembly shall examine the credentials of its new members, and shall settle disputes arising
concerning those credentials or the election itself, according to ru les to be laid down by law.
In the case where several members could be eligible for appointment as most senior member,
who will act as chairman is decided by lot.
1. The most senior member referred to in the previous article shall, previous to t his meeting,
take the prescribed oath or promise before the President, after which he shall swear in the
other fifty members. Hereafter, the meeting attends to the business of electing a speaker
and a deputy speaker of the National Assembly, who shall imme diately assume their
2. The speaker shall take the required oath or promise, in the National Assembly before the
3. If the acting chairman is elected as speaker he takes the required oath or promise in the
National Assembly before t he deputy speaker.
TERMINATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1. Membership of the National Assembly is terminated by:
b. Discharge on personal request;
c. Revocation of the member in the manner to be lai d down by law;;
d. The arising of conditions that exclude eligibility;
e. an appointment as Minister or Under -Minister;
f. Absence during an uninterrupted period of five months
g. Condemnation for criminal offence in an irrevocable judicial decision to a penalty
involving loss of liberty of at least five months.
2. Membership of the National Assemply is incompatible with the office of Minister or
Under -Minister, provided that upon the election of a Minister or Under -Minister as a
Member to the National As sembly, the office of Minister or Under -Minister can be
combined with membership of the National Assembly for no longer than three months
after admission to the National Assembly.
3. Further rules regarding the loss of membership of the National Assembly can be laid
down by law.
CHAPTER XI THE LEGISLATURE
EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS
The Legislator, the Government and the other organs of government shall respect the rules of the
The Legislative Power s hall be exercised jointly by the National Assembly and the Government.
POWERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1. The National Assembly shall have the power to decide over all proposals of law that will
be submitted before it for approva l.
2. The National Assembly shall have the power to decide by 2/3 majority on the
organization of a People’s Assembly or a plebiscite in those cases deemed necessary by
the National Assembly, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 179, paragraph 2.
3. The National Assembly lays down its own standing order. These standing orders, in
which rules of procedure for the People’s Assembly shall be included, will be
promulgated by state decree.
Without prejudice to what is reserved elsewhere in the Constitution for regulation by law, the
following subjects shall certainly be determined by law:
a. Treaties, subject to what is determined in article 104;
b. The amending of the Constitution;
c. The declaration or the termination of the state of war, the civil or military state of
d. The determination and change of the political -administrative partitioning of the
Republic of Suriname;
e. The determination of the extent and boundaries of the territorial waters and the rights
of the Republic of Suriname to the adjacent continental shelf and the economic zone;
f. The creation of a development council for national development;
g. The granting of amnesty or pardon.
The socio -economic and political policy to be followed by the Gover nment shall be previously
approved by the National Assembly.
EXECUTIVE TASKS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The National Assembly has the following executive tasks:
a. The election of the President and the Vice -President;
b. The proposal for nomination to the President of the chairman and vice -chairman, the
members and the surrogate members of the organ charged with the supervision and
control of the expenditure of the state finances;
c. Placing the nominations of the memb ers of the Constitutional Court and their
appointed deputies to the President;
d. Appointing, suspending and discharging the clerk of the Assembly;
e. Organizing any People’s Assembly.
RIGHTS OF AMENDMENT INITIATIVE , INTERROGATION AND INVESTIGATION
1. The President introduces the proposals of law or other Government proposals before the
National Assembly in a written message.
2. Public debate on any received Government proposal shall always be preceded by an
examination of that proposal.
3. The National Assembly shall determine in its Rules of Order the manner in which such
examination shall be made.
The National Assembly shall have the right of ammend bills proposed by the Government.
1. If the National Assembly resolves to pass the proposal either unchanged or changed, it
shall notify the President thereof.
2. If the National Assembly resolves not to pass the proposal it shall also give notice thereof
to the President, with the request to r eview the bill more thoroughly. As long as the
National Assembly has not taken a decision, the President shall have the right to
withdraw the bill which he has submitted.
Every member to the National Assembly shall have the right to introduce proposals of law to the
The National Assembly shall have the right of examination, that is to be regulated by law.
1. All bills passed by the National Assembly and approved by the President shall acquire
force of l aw after promulgation.
2. The laws shall be inviolable, subject to the provisions of Articles 106, 137 and 144,
Annually, and at the latest on the first working day of October, the President shall address the
National Assembly on the policy to be followed by the Government.
All meetings of the National Assembly shall be held in public, except in special cases when it
decides to convene behind closed doors.
1. The National Assembly may not commence deliberation or take decisions if no more than
one half its members are present.
2. All decisions of the National Assembly shall be taken by a normal majority of votes,
except for the provisions of paragraph 3 of the pr esent Article, and of Article 60, Article
70 [paragraph 2], and Article 84, paragraph 4.
3. A majority of at least 2/3 of the constitutional number of members of the National
Assembly shall be required for decisions concerning:
a. The Amendment of the Const itution;
b. The Amdendment of the electoral act insofar as it involves the subjects indicated in
c. The election of the President;
d. The election of the Vice -President;
e. The organization of a People’s Assembly, subject to the provisions of Article 181,
f. The organization of a plebiscite.
1. In the event of an equality of votes at a meeting attended by all who are at that moment
members of the National Assembly, the motion shall be considered as having been
2. In the event of an equality of votes at a meeting not attended by all those who are at the
moment members of the National Assembly, the motion shall be postponed until a
subsequent meeting. The motion shall be considered as having been defeated in the event
of an equality in such meeting.
3. Voting shall be by roll -call if at least five members desire this and shall then be by word –
of-mouth; however in case of the election or nomination of persons, voting shall be by
secret and unsigned ballot.
4. The meeti ng can decide by at least two thirds of the votes cast that a specific matter shall
be voted by closed and unsigned voting papers.
1. The Government shall provide the National Assembly with the requested information
either in writing or orally. I t can be invited by the National Assembly to attend the
2. The Government can attend meetings of the National Assembly as well as the People’s
Assembly. It has an advisory vote in those meetings. It can be assisted in the meetings by
Artic le 86
The law regulates the financial provisions for the benefit of the members and former members of
the national Assembly and their surviving relatives.
1. The National Assembly appoints, suspends and discharges its clerk. The clerk may not at
the same time be a member of the National Assembly.
2. The law regulates his position.
The speaker, the members of the National Assembly, the Government and the experts referred to
in article 85, paragraph (2), shall be exempt from criminal prosection for anything they have said
at the assembly or have submitted to it in writing, except that if in so doing they had made public
what was said or submitted under obligation of secrecy in a closed meeting.
The Na tional Assembly is bound to inform the district councils in a manner to be laid down by
law about decisions taken or viewpoints expressed that are of significance to their districts.
CHAPTER XII THE PRESIDENT
1. The President is Head of State of the Republic of Suriname, Head of Government,
Chairman of the Council of State and of the Security Council.
2. He is answerable to the National Assembly.
1. The President and the Vice -President are elected by the National Assembly for five years.
The term of office of the President is terminated at the swearing in of a newly appointed
President. If the office becomes vacant, then the following President to be elected begins
a new term of office.
2. The provisions of the previous paragraph apply equally to the Vice -President.
1. To be eligible for appointment as President or Vice -President a candidate must:
– possess the Suriname nationality;
– have reached the age of thirty;
– not be excluded from the rig ht of active and passive suffrage;
– not have acted in violation of the Constitution.
2. Before submitting his candidacy, he must have had his domicile and main and real
residence in Suriname for at least six years.
At the inauguration, the Pre sident and the Vice -President shall make the following oath or
“I swear (promise) that in order to be elected President (Vice -President) of the Republic of
Suriname I have not given or promised, nor will give or promise, directly or indirectly, u nder
whatsoever name or pretext, anything to anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that in order to do or refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office, I
will not accept any promises or presents, directly or indirectly, from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that in fulfilling the office of President (Vice -President) I will attend to and
foster, with all my powers, the interests of the county and the people.
I swear (promise) that I will defend and preserve, with all my powers, the independenc e and
territory of the Republic of Suriname; that I will protect the general and particular liberty and
the rights of all people and will employ, for the maintenance and promotion of the particular and
general welfare, all means which the laws and circumst ances place at my disposal, as a good
and faithful President (Vice -President) should do.
I swear (promise) obedience to the Constitution and all other rules of law.
I swear (promise) allegiance to the Republic of Suriname. So help me God Almighty (That I
declare and promise).”
The President and the Vice -President shall not hold other political and administrative offices in
the civil service, shall not fulfill functions in trade and commerce or labor unions and shall not
practice any other pro fessions.
The President and Vice -President may neither directly or indirectly participate in any
undertaking, nor act as guarantor thereof, which is based on an agreement for profit or gain made
with the State or with a part thereof. They may hold no money claims, except for government
bodys, against the State.
The President and the Vice -President may neither directly nor indirectly participate in any
concession undertaking of any nature established in Surina me or operating therein.
1. The President may not be related by marriage or by blood up to the second degree with
the Vice -President, the ministers, the vice -ministers and the chairman and other members
of the State Council and the organ that is charged with the supervision and control of the
expenditure of state finances.
2. He who comes to stand in a forbidden degree of relation after his appointment retains his
office only after leave thereto is given by law.
The office President is exercised by the Vice -President:
a. In case the President is declared unfit to exercise his powers;
b. In case the President has laid down the exercise of his powers temporarily;
c. As long as there is no President or if he is ab sent;
d. If, in the case described in article 140, prosecution against the President has been
POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT
The executive power is vested in the President.
The President shall have the supre me authority over the armed forces.
The President shall have the direction of foreign relations and shall promote the development of
the international legal order.
1. The President shall not declare the Republic of Suriname to be a t war, in danger of war of
in state of siege, except with the previous consent of the National Assembly. This consent
shall not be required when, as a result of force majeure, consultation with the National
Assembly has appeared to be impossible.
2. The Pres ident shall not declare war, danger of war or state of siege between the State of
Suriname and another power to be terminated, except with the previous consent of the
National Assembly. This consent shall not be required when, as a result of force majeure,
consultation with the National Assembly is not possible.
3. To maintain external and domestic security, in case of war, danger of war or in case of
serious threat to or disturbance of the domestic order and peace which could result in
substantial damage to the interests of the State, the President can declare the state of
emergency in any part of Suriname, subject to previous consent of the National Assembly.
4. The President shall not declare the State of emergency to be terminated, except with
previous conse nt of the National Assembly. This consent is not required when
consultation with the National Assembly has, as a result of force majeure, appeared to b e
Agreements with other powers and with organizations based on international l aw shall be
concluded by, or by authority of, the President and shall be, insofar as the agreements require,
ratified by the President. These agreements shall be communicated to the National Assembly as
soon as possible; they shall not be ratified and they shall not enter into force until they have
received the approval of the National Assembly.
1. Approval shall be given either explicitly or implicitly. Explicit approval shall be given by
law. Implicit approval has been given if, within thirty d ays after the agreement has been
submitted for that purpose to the National Assembly, no statement has been made by the
National Assembly expressing the wish that the agreement be subject to explicit approval.
2. The law determines the cases in which no appr oval is required.
The provisions of the agreements mentioned in Article 103 which may be directly binding on
anyone, shall become effective upon promulgation.
Legal regulations in force in the Republic of Suriname shall not appl y, if this application should
be incompatible with provisions that are directly applicable to anyone, to agreements entered into
either before or after the enactment of the regulations.
The law shall regulate the publication of agreements and of decisions of international
On proposal of the Government, the President confers honorary orders of the Republic of
Suriname upon people who are eligible thereto.
The President shall have the right to grant par dons for penalties inflicted by judicial sentence. He
shall exercise this right after having ascertained the opinion of the judge, who had taken the
POWERS WITH REGARD TO OTHER ORGANS
The President furthermore has the powers;
a. To constitute the Council of Ministers, after consultation, including with regard to the
results of the elections;
b. To direct the preparatory work for the government programme
c. To direct the activities of the State Cou ncil;
d. If required, to convene and to lead the meatings of the Council of Ministers;
e. To appoint and remove ministers from office;
f. To ratify approved bills and propose state decrees;
g. To suspend decions of the Council of Ministers, and of Mini sters;
h. To appoint to suspend and to discharge any person to whom a public service is
entrusted, inasmuch as appointing, suspending or discharging has not assigned to another
POWERS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
In internat ional relations the President has the power:
a. To appoint, to discharge, to replace and to suspend diplomatic representatives of the
Republic of Suriname;
b. To accredit or not to accredit diplomatic representatives of other states;
c. To accept letter s of accreditation of foreign diplomatic representatives.
All other matters relating to the President shall be regulated by law.
CHAPTER XIII THE COUNCIL OF STATE, THE
GOVERNMENT, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS AND
THE MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF MI NISTERS
THE COUNCIL OF STATE
There is a Council of State, whose composition and powers shall be regulated by law. The
President is Chairman of the Council of State.
On assuming office the members of the Council of State shall take the following oath or make
the following promise before the President:
“I swear (promise) that in order to be appointed member of the Council of State, I have not
given or promised, nor will I give or promise, anything, directly or indir ectly, to anyone
whomsoever, under whatsoever name or pretext.
I swear (promise) that in order to do or to refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office,
I will not accept, directly or indirectly, any promises or presents from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that I will perform my duties and that I will not make public the things of
which I have taken cognizance, through my appointment as member of the Council of State, and
which are entrusted to me as secret, or of which I should understand the confidential character,
except to those persons to whom I am obliged by law ex officio to communicate them.
I swear (promise) obedience to the Constitution and all other rules of law.
I swear (promise) allegiance to the Republic of Suriname. So help me, God Almighty (That I
declare and promise).”
POWERS OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE
1. The Council of State has without prejudice to what is regulated by law the following
a. To advise the President in execution of his office of Head of Stat e and Head of
b. To advise the Government on general policy matters and on the content of bills, as well
as agreements under international law for which the consent of the National Assembly is
c. To advise the Government on proposed state decrees;
d. To pass its own standing orders, which shall be determined by state decree;
e. To advise the Government on proposals of general administrative measures;
1. The President with the Vice -President and the Council of Ministers form the Government.
The Vice -President is charged with the day -to-day management of the Council of
Ministers and is as such responsible to the President.
2. The Government is r esponsible to the National Assembly.
The Government draft state decrees. Provisions which are enforceable by penalties shall not be
made by such state decree unless it is pursuant to the law. The law regulates the applicable
Arti cle 118
The manner of promulgation of laws and state decrees and the moment at which they became
effective shall be regulated by law.
THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
1. The Council of Ministers is the highest executive and administrati ve organ of the
2. The Ministers together form the Council of Ministers, which is presided by the Vice –
3. The Council of Ministers has at least one deputy chairman.
The meetings of the Council of Ministers may be attended b y specialized and/or technical
experts at the invitation of the chairman.
The Council of Ministers is under the obligation to assist in the procurement of information to
the Council of State for the execution of its advisory and supervisory t ask.
TASKS OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
Subject to that which is laid down in the Rules of Order of the Council, that Council of Ministers
has as tasks:
a. To execute the policy determined by the Government
b. To prepare legislative acts an d administrative regulation;
c. To supervise the correct execution of decrees when their execution is entrusted to it;
d. To prepare and to execute an efficient policy;
e. To give direction to administrative organs and to supervise administrative functi ons of
local organs by means of the suitable ministerial debarments.
TASKS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF
1. The members of the council of Ministers shall be charged with leading their respective
ministerial departments and with the tasks appointed to them by the Rules of Order of the
Council of Ministers and by other Regulations.
2. The Ministers are answerable to the President.
The Presiden t may appoint to a ministerial department one or more Under -Ministers who, in
cases the Minister deems necessary, may act as Minister in his stead, observant of his directions.
The Under -Minister is on that account responsible to the President, without pre judice to the
responsibility of the Minister.
On assuming office, the Ministers and Under -Ministers shall take the following oath or make the
following promise before the President:
“I swear (promise) that in order to be appointed Minister ( Under -Minister) I have not given or
promised, nor will I give or promise, anything, directly or indirectly, to anyone whomsoever,
under whatsoever name or pretext.
I swear (promise) that in order to do or to refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office,
I will not accept, directly or indirectly, any promises or presents from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that I will faithfully perform all the duties which the office of a minister lays
I swear (promise) that I will promote the wel l-being of Suriname to the best of my abilities.
I swear (promise) obedience to the Constitution and all other legal rules.
I swear (promise) allegiance to the Republic of Suriname.
So help me, God Almighty (That I declare and promise).”
The law regulates the financial provisions for the benefit of the Ministers, the Under -Ministers,
and former Ministers and former Under -Ministers and of their surviving relatives.
The standing orders for the Council of Ministers shall be dete rmined by state decree.
CHAPTER XIV THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
There shall be a National Security Council, which can commence its activities after the duly
authorized institutions have decided to declare the stat e of war, threat of war, or the state of siege
in case of military aggression, and the state of civil and military emergency.
COMPOSITION OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
The Security Council shall consist of:
The President, as chair man;
The Vice -President, as deputy chairman;
The Minister in charge of legal affairs;
The Minister in charge of defense;
Another member of the Council of Ministers;
The Commander of the National Army;
The Chief of Police of the Police Corps of Surina me.
The Security Council shall protect the sovereignty and the domestic security of the Republic of
Suriname and is endowed with special powers with regard to the external and domestic security
of the Republic of Suriname in case of war, dang er of war or state of siege and other
extraordinary circumstances, to be defined by the law.
CHAPTER XV THE LEGAL SYSTEM
1. In Suriname justice shall be administered in the name of the Republic.
2. No act shall be punishable other than by virtue of a previously determined legal rule.
3. Every interference in investigation or prosecution and in cases pending in court shall be
Civil and commercial law, civil and military penal la w and procedure shall be regulated by law
in general codes, without prejudice to the power of the Legislature to regulate certain subjects in
1. The Judicial Power is formed by the President and the Vice -President of the Court of
Justice, the members and the deputy members of the Court of Justice, the Attorney –
General with the Court of Justice, and the other members of the Public Prosecutors Office,
and of other judicial functionaries indicated by law .
2. The law may provide that persons not belonging to the Judicial Power shall also take part
in the activities of the Judicial Power.
3. The President, the Vice -President, the members and the deputy members of the Court of
Justice constitute the Judicial Pow er that is charged with the administration of justice.
1. The cognizance and adjudication of all lawsuits is exclusively entrusted to the Judicial
Power, save when the law appoints another judge.
2. The pronouncement of punishment and of measures provided by law is also entrusted to
the Judicial Power that is charged with the administration of justice, subject to exceptions
made by law, which, when concerning imprisonment, may only relate to military penal
and disciplinary law.
1. The de cision of lawsuits not arising from civil law relations may be referred by law to
administrative judges. The law shall regulate the procedure of deciding and the
consequences of such decision.
2. In the cases indicated in the previous paragraph the administr ative appeal can also be
made available. That appeal shall only exclude the competence of the Judicial Power
insofar as this stems from the law.
1. All judgements shall state the grounds upon which they are decided, and in penal cases
they shall also indicate the articles of the legal regulations upon which the condemnation
2. The court sessions shall be public, subject to exceptions made by the law.
3. For punishable acts designated by law for which no imprisonment is provided as
sanctione d, the provision in the first paragraph may be departed from.
4. The pronouncement of sentence shall take place in public.
Insofar as the judge considers the application of a legal rule in the particular case brought before
him to be contrary t o one or more constitutional rights mentioned in Chapter V, the application
in that case shall be declared unwarranted by him.
COMPOSITION OF THE JUDICIAL POWER
The law shall determine the organization, the composition and the jurisdiction of the Judicial
The supreme instance of the Judicial Power entrusted with the administration of justice is called
the Court of Justice of Suriname. The Court shall supervise the regular course and settl ement of
Those who hold political office shall be liable to trial before the High Court, even after their
retirement, for indictable acts committed in discharging their official duties. Proceedings are
initiated against them by the Attorney -General after they have been indicted by the National
Assembly in a manner to be determined by law. It may be determined by law that members of
the High Boards of State and other officials shall be liable to trial for punishable acts committed
in the exercise of their functions.
1. To be appointed as a member of the Judicial Power entrusted with the administration of
justice or as Attorney -General with the Court of Justice, one shall be at least thirty years
of age and possess Surina me nationality and have domicile and main and real residence
2. The members of the Judicial Power entrusted with the administration of justice and the
Attorney -General with the Court of Justice shall be appointed by the Government, after
consult ation of the Court of Justice. The appointment of the President, Vice -President,
the members of the Court of Justice and the Attorney -General shall be for life.
3. The law determines the other conditions for appointment and also the financial provision
for t heir benefit and that of their surviving relatives.
1. The member of the Judicial Power entrusted with the administration of justice and the
Attorney -General with the Court of Justice are discharged by the Government: on their
request; when reac hing the age of retirement.
2. The persons mentioned in the first paragraph may be discharged on the proposal of the
Court of Justice:
o when they have been placed under legal restraint;
o in case of proven continuous mental disorder;
o if they have been senten ced to an irevocable detention for having committed a
o if they have been declared bankrupt;
o when they have obtained a moratium or are under court custory for their civil
o on the grounds of serious misconduct or immorality or in case of proven
coninuous negligence in the fulfillment of their office.
If the President is of the opinion that one of the reasons for discharge as mentioned in article 142,
paragraph (2) are present, he can suspend the person in question and he can also provide for a
temporary replacement in that office. The law regulates the consequences of the suspension and
discharge from the office.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
1. There shall be a Constitutional Court which is an indep endent body composed of a
President, Vice -President and three members, who – as well as the three deputy members
– shall be appointed for a period of five years at the recommendation of the National
2. The tasks of the Constitutional Court shall be :
a. to verify the purport of Acts or parts thereof against the Constitution, and against
applicable agreements concluded with other states and with international organization;
b. to assess the consistency of decisions of government institutions with one or more of
the constituional rights mentioned in Chapter V.
3. In case the Constitutional Court decides that a contradiction exists with one or more
provisions of hte Constitution or an agreement as referred to in paragraph 2 sub a, the Act
or parts ther eof, or those decisions of the government institutions shall not be considered
4. Further rules and regulations concerning the composition, the organization and
procedures of the Court, as well as the legal consequences of the decisions of the
Const itutional Court, shall be determined by law.
THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION
The Public Prosecutor’s Office is to the exclusion of all other organs responsible for the
investigation and is charged with the prosecution of all punishable acts. The law can derogate
from this principle for the criminal procedure with regard to the military.
1. The Public Prosecution with the Court of Justice shall be exercised by or for the
2. The Attorney -General represents the R epublic of Suriname before courts of law. He is the
head of the public Prosecutor’s Office and is at the same time charged with the court
police. He has the powers to give to the officers who are entrusted with police tasks,
instructions towards preventing , detecting and researching punishable acts, which he
deems necessary in the interests of sound justice.
The Attorney -General supervises the correct execution of the tasks of the Police. He has the
power to make any proposal that he considers practical in that regard.
The Government determines the general prosecution policy. The Government may in specific
instances give the Attorney -General orders with regard to prosecution, in the interest of state
CHAPTER XVI SUPERVI SION OF THE EXPENDITURE
OF STATE FINANCES
1. An institution shall be established by law which shall have as task to supervise the
expenditure of state finances as well as to control the management of government means
in the broadest sense shall b e created by law.
2. Supervision and control shall be exercised on the justification as well as on the
effectiveness of the expenditure and management of the state finances.
The chairman, the members and the deputy members are appointed by the President for a period
of five years, on proposal of the National Assembly.
The organ mentioned in article 149 shall periodically, however at least once per year, report on
the supervision it exercises to the National Assembly, the Council of State and the Government.
The report shall be made public.
Other matters pertaining to the composition, the organization and the authority of this organ,
shall be regulated by law.
CHAPTER XVII ADVISORY COUNCILS
One or more adv isory councils for the benefit of the Government shall be created by a law,
which will also contain rules on their appointment, composition, procedures and authority.
CHAPTER XVIII THE FINANCIAL AND MONETARY
1. The structure of the financ ial system shall be organized by law in such a way, that by
saving and by correct allocation of the necessary financial means, investments in the
productive sector shall be promoted.
2. The law shall lay down rules concerning the monetary system and the Central Bank.
3. The law shall lay down rules concerning insurance and banking services.
4. Conditions for the manner in which the State obtains loans shall be regulated by law.
CHAPTER XIX T AXES
1. Taxes are levied by virtue of the law, which regulates the rate of taxation, tariffs,
dispensations and guarantees for taxpayers.
2. No privilege with regard to taxes shall be permitted other than by virtue of the law.
Article 1 56
1. The manner in which the annual budget is prepared, drafted and executed and the period
for which it is valid are regulated by law.
2. All expenditures of the State and the means for the defrayal thereof shall be estimated in
3. Annually, at the latest on the first working day of October the budget shall be submitted
to the National Assembly in one or more proposals of law in accordance with the law and
with the government development plan.
4. On the occasion of the submission of the budget proposa l by the Government to the
National Assembly, the President will address the National Assembly in a special session.
a. The budget shall become effective starting January 1st of the fiscal year to which it
b. It shall be considered to have beco me effective from that day, notwithstanding it could
have been promulgated thereafter.
5. As long as that has not occurred, the budget of the fiscal year preceding the year in
question shall serve as basis for the management.
a. The closing of the accounts shall be decided by law for each fiscal year separately.
b. The justification of revenue and of expenditure of the State is done before the National
Assembly following legal prescriptions and with submission of the accounts reviewed by
an independent org an to be created by law.
CHAPTER XX THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
1. The structure of the administrative organs of government shall be such that they can bring
their services close to the people in order to assure the participation of those concerne d
with what is happening and in order to avoid bureaucratism.
2. Suitable forms of administrative decentralization shall be created by law, taking
efficiency into consideration and without diminishing the unity of action or the powers of
the Government to gi ve guidance and to exercise supervision.
3. Administrative procedures shall be created by law, which will ensure the rationality of
the methods used by the ministerial departments, as well as the participation of the
citizens in the process of decision making or in the debates that concern them.
1. Everyone shall have the right to be informed by the organs of government administration
on the advancement in the handling of cases in which he has a direct interest and on
measures taken with regard to him.
2. Interested parties shall have the right to submit to the court for reassessment any final and
enforceable act by agencie s of public administration, which is believed to be unlawful.
3. In disciplinary procedures the right of interested parties to reply shall be guaranteed.
CHAPTER XXI THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS
The democratic order of th e Republic of Suriname comprises inferior government organs on the
regional level, whose function, organization, competence and operation mode shall be regulated
by law in accordance with the principles of participatory democracy and decentralization of
ad ministration and legislation.
DEMARCATION OF THE TERRITORY
1. The partitioning of the Territory into districts and of districts into departments shall be
regulated by law. The following criteria shall apply for the partitioning in districts and
o the concentration of the population;
o the potential for development;
o the feasibility of administering the territory;
o the availability of infrastructure;
o the location of the center of administration.
2. The boundaries of the districts are the boundaries indicated in the decree
“Districtenindeling 1983" (S.B. 1983 Nr. 24).
1. There are two representative bodies on the regional level: the district councils and the
local councils .
2. The district council is the supreme political -administrative organ of the district.
3. The local council is the supreme political -administrative institution of the administrative
The composition of the district councils shall be established after general, free and secret
elections in the administrative jurisdiction of the district concerned. The seats in the district
council are given to the representative political organizations w ith a seat in the local councils of
the district concerned, in proportion to the total number of seats they acquired in the local
The composition of the local councils takes place after general, free and secret electi ve franchise
within the administrative jurisdiction. The order of election of the representatives is determined
by the counting order of received personal votes. All available seats shall be so granted. Without
prejudice to other legal requirements with re gard to eligibility in representative bodies, the
candidates for a local council or a district council shall have their main and real residence in the
district or administrative jurisdiction.
The regional represe ntative bodes and the regional administrative organs participate in the
preparation, creation and the execution of the plans for district and administrative jurisdictions.
Other specific tasks shall be regulated by law.
The financial provisio ns for the districts and administrative jurisdictions shall be determined by
law; they envisage among other things to promote the reasonable and equitable division of funds
in the districts.
The Government exercises supervision over the distr icts, in the manner and in the cases provided
The district councils and local councils express the will and the aspiration of the inhabitants. The
district councils shall manifest those to the National Assem bly, whereas the local councils shall
do so to the district councils.
The district councils shall be bound to inform the local councils about measures taken or
opinions that are held, which concern the local councils. This obligation shall also apply to l ocal
councils in relation to the district council.
1. The opportunity shall be granted to the elected district representatives to participate in the
formulation and the creation of the national and regional development policy.
2. The district coun cil shall have the power to delegate its representatives to participate in
the development council for the national development.
3. The district councils shall have the power to forward proposals that concern their own
district for further treatment to the m inisterial departments concerned.
CHAPTER XXII REGIONAL LEGISLATION
1. The provision of regulations and administration of the affairs of the district shall be left to
the district council.
2. The district council shall make the district -ordinances which it considers necessary in the
interest of the district subject to the limits of the Constitution and the laws and
administrative measures of the Government. It shall be indicated by law with regard to
which subjects the district councils shall have legislative powers.
1. The district -ordinances shall be notified to the National Assembly, the Government, the
Council of State in the local District Commissioner, before they become effective.
2. The population of the district shall be informed a bout the contents of the district
ordinances through their publication in local newspapers and in the Official Journal of the
Republic of Suriname and by keeping them available for reading at the office of the
After the publication as mentioned in Article 170 everyone shall have the opportunity to lodge
complaints against the district ordinances with the National Assembly.
1. If a district ordinance is contrary to the Constitution, the government programme or the
existing laws, the National Assembly can annul it.
2. The district council shall have the power to commence the procedure of making the
district ordinance effective and of promulgating it, in a manner that shall be decide by
law, if the Nati onal Assembly has notified the district council in writing within six weeks
after the district ordinance was submitted to it, that no complaints were lodged with it.
1. The measures taken by the district council which do not contain general rule s, shall and
under strict supervision exercised by the Government. If those measures are considered to
be in contravention of the government program or the naitonal interest, the President shall
2. If, after the suspension by the Council of Sta te, the district council in question should
think that there is no violation of the government program or the national interest, the
dispute is submitted to the National Assembly, which makes a final binding decision.
CHAPTER XXIII REGIONAL AUTHORITIES
Ar ticle 174
1. In every district there shall be a district administration. The district administration is the
Executive organ of the district.
2. The district administration consists of the District Commissioner and the representatives
of the ministerial departm ents in the district.
The district administration is entrusted with the daily administration of the district.
CHAPTER XXIV ARMY AND POLICE
THE NATIONAL ARMY
1. The National Army shall have as its task the defense of the sovereignty and the territorial
integrity of Suriname against foreign, military, armed aggression.
2. Without prejudice to the provisions of the previous paragraph, the army can be charged
with special tasks to be defined by law.
3. The army shall carry out its tasks under the responsibility of and in subordination to the
competent authority and in accordance with the prevailing legislation.
4. The organization of the National Army and the legal status of the servicemen shall be
defin ed by law.
THE POLICE CORPS OF SURINAME
1. The police shall have as task:
a. to maintain public order and domestic security, to prevent violations thereof, and to
protect persons and goods.
b. to investigate punishable acts and to enforce the observance of regulations, the breach
of which shall be punishable by law.
2. Without prejudice to the provisions of the previous paragraph, the police can be charged
with special tasks to be defined by la w.
3. The police corps shall carry out its task under the responsibility of and in subordination to
the competent authority and in accordance with the prevailing legislation.
4. The organization of the Police Corps of Suriname and the legal status of the polic e
officers shall be defined by law.
1. Servicemen or the police officers who become a member of one of the people’s
representative bodies shall be suspended from duty by law.
2. Rules with regard to making views or feelings public, or to using the right of association,
assembly and demonstration by servicemen and police officers shall be defined by law.
CHAPTER XXV DEFENSE OF THE STATE
1. The defense policy is vested in the Government.
2. The protection of the State is a fundamental duty o f every citizen.
3. Military service is obligatory for a certain period, under conditions to be regulated by law.
4. Civil service is obligatory under conditions to be regulated by law, as a substitute or
complement to military service.
5. Persons who are found to be unsuited for military service of conscientious objectors can,
under conditions to be laid down by law, perform unarmed military or civil service fitting
for their situation.
6. Without prejudice to further sanctions to be determined by law, a citizen w ho
intentionally fails to perform military or civil service when given the opportunity to do so,
shall not fulfill or maintain a function in government or public service.
7. A citizen who performs military or civil service shall not be deemed to damage this legal
position or further career development or to infringe secondary labor conditions.
CHAPTER XXVI THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
1. The People’s Assembly consists of:
o the National Assembly
o the District Councils;
o the Local Councils.
2. The People’s Assembly shall convene for the third vote:
a. In case of amending of the Constitution with regard to the powers and tasks of the
representatives in the several representative bides, whereto the consent of at least 2/3 of
the number of valid v otes is required, if that majority cannot be obtained after two rounds
of voting in the National Assembly.
b. For the election of the President and the Vice -President, in case none of the candidates
has obtained the constitutional majority after two round s of voting in the National
c. In case a decision shall be taken by law by absolute majority with regard to the
possible discharge of the President, if the National Assembly does not reach consensus on
3. Decisions in the People’s Assembly shall be taken by ordinary majority of the votes cast,
if more than half of the number of functioning members of the bodies referred to in
paragraph 1, are present.
CHAPTER XXVII TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL
FORMER C ONSTITUTIONAL LAW
The rules of the Constitution of 25 November 1975, the application of which was suspended on
13 August 1980, shall cease to exist when this Constitution becomes effective.
FORMER COMMON LAW
The legal regulations, such as they existed before this constitution shall become effective,
including the laws and decrees promulgated after 25 February 1980, shall remain in force, until
they will have been replaced by other rules according to this Constitu tion, under stipulation that
they shall, inasfar as they may be contrary to the Constitution, be brought in harmony with this
Constitution, not later than by the end of the first period of session of the National Assembly,
failing which they shall lose the ir force of law.
CHAPTER XXVIII REPEALED
COMING INTO FORCE OF INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT
1. The National Assembly commences is activities within 30 days after the results of the
2. The National Assembly chooses the Presi dent and the Vice -President of the Republic of
Suriname within 30 days after the commencement of the session period of the National
CHAPTER XXIX RATIFICATION, PROMULGATION
AND EFFECTIVE DATE
1. The Constitution of the Republic of Suriname shall have as date the date of the plebiscite
whereby the people of Suriname approved it.
2. The decision whereby the Constitution is approved by the people of Suriname, shall be
ratified by the President and formally promulgated, not later than 30 days after its
3. Thus the Constitution has come into force on October 30, 1987.
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