Accessibility links

US Expects Suriname to Fight Corruption, Respect Human Rights

Former dictator Desi Bouterse, looks on in the house of parliament in Paramaribo, Suriname, 19 Jul 2010

The United States says it expects the new government in Suriname to stand firm against corruption.

The U.S. State Department called on the new government to respect democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.

The statement comes after Suriname's parliament on Monday elected former dictator and convicted drug trafficker Desi Bouterse as president. He still faces trial in his country for his alleged role in executing 15 political opponents in 1982 when he ruled the country.

The State Department says the United States respects the results of free and fair elections and looks to maintain good ties with Suriname.

Bouterse seized power in 1980 and ruled until 1987. He briefly seized power again in 1990.

A Dutch court convicted him in absentia of trafficking cocaine to the Netherlands in 1999.

Suriname is a former Dutch colony on the northeastern coast of South America.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.