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OAS to Send Election Observers to Suriname

The Organization of American States says it will send election observers to monitor Suriname's parliamentary elections to be held May 25.

The OAS and Suriname officials agreed to the monitors Friday in Washington.

The ruling coalition in Suriname faces opposition from the National Democratic Party, which says its leader, former dictator Desi Bouterse, would become president if the party wins the elections.

The United States has warned that relations with Suriname would suffer if Bouterse takes power.

He was convicted in the Netherlands six years ago for illegal drug trafficking, and sentenced to 11 years in prison. However, he was never sent to the Netherlands as the two countries do not have an extradition agreement.

Bouterse, who is an elected member of parliament, led a successful military coup in Suriname in 1980, and ruled the South American country for nearly a decade.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.