Cocaine smuggler elected Suriname president

Tuesday 20 July 2010 00:00 BST

Lawmakers in Suriname have elected the former military strongman and convicted cocaine smuggler, Desi Bouterse, who previously seized power in two coups, as President. Mr Bouterse, accused of human rights violations and wanted in the Netherlands to serve a drugs sentence, won 36 votes out of 50 in parliament.

The vote followed a May election in which Mr Bouterse's Mega Combination coalition won the most seats – 23 – but fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to name a new president.

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