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Suriname Voters Head to Polls in Parliamentary Elections


Voters went to the polls in Suriname Wednesday to decide whether to re-elect President Ronald Venetiaan's government or bring back former dictator and convicted drug trafficker Desi Bouterse.

Voters were choosing a new 51-member National Assembly, which will then have two months to appoint a new president. But neither Mr. Venetiaan's New Front coalition nor Mr. Bouterse's National Democratic Party are expected to win the two-thirds majority needed to choose the president. They may have to negotiate with Suriname's smaller political parties.

The United States and Suriname's former colonial ruler, the Netherlands, have warned of sour relations if Mr. Bourterse takes power again.

A Dutch court convicted him in absentia for cocaine smuggling in 1999. He also faces charges in Suriname in connection with the 1982 murders of 15 dissidents.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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