Posted: Monday, May 25, 2020. 5:46 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the South American nation of Suriname held their elections today.
Over 600 schools across the nation were opened as polling stations to allow for residents to cast their votes.
The country planned to conduct the election without a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The residents in Suriname will decide the fate of their leader who has dominated the country’s politics for four decades.
President Desiré “Dési” Bouterse, 74, and the National Democratic Party coalition are seeking to hold onto power in the country amid a murder conviction, corruption scandals, souring economy.
In November, Bouterse was convicted of murder in the 1982 execution of 15 political opponents and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bouterse appealed the judgment and continues to declare innocence.
If Bouterse wins today, he would secured a third term as President and immunity from prison.
So far, Suriname has registered 11 cases of COVID-19 and 1 death.
While their borders remain closed, the curfew was listed today and tomorrow so that people can vote and the tally can be conducted.
The results of the elections are not expected for several weeks.
CARICOM observers and observers from the Organization of American States are in Suriname for the election.
“For CARICOM, election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy and good governance,” a statement from CARICOM said.
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