Suriname. According to
countryaah, the current population of Suriname is 586,643. President Dési Bouterse, who is accused of
being involved in disappearances and executions of political
opponents under the military dictatorship under his
leadership in the 1980s, was put under new pressure in June
when courts withdrew the amnesty law approved by Parliament
in 2012 and protected him from prosecution.
However, Bouterse immediately ordered the State
Prosecutor to interrupt the ongoing legal process against
him, citing Article 148 of the Constitution which allows the
Head of State to intervene in the State Prosecutor's Office
if the national security is in danger. The security
situation he pointed out was the economic crisis in which
Suriname was hit by dramatically falling prices for the
country's export commodities and the risk of foreign
dominance in the economy.
Prices of oil, bauxite and gold fell by 50%, 10% and 30%
respectively against 2015, which hit the Surinamese economy
hard and slowed growth. Particularly critical was the
situation for the bauxite, which until 2007 accounted for
70% of the country's total exports, but which has now fallen
back to 13%. Its contribution to GDP has more than halved
and its share of the state budget has fallen by two-thirds.
Towards the end of the year, popular protests against
economic policy increased, which included tightening
measures and price increases for electricity and water to
meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In May, the IMF approved new loans of $ 478 million for the
government's restructuring measures, and in September,
Suriname received $ 1.8 billion from the Islamic Development
Bank, dedicated to investments in the energy, agriculture
and social sectors.