Suriname votes, counts ballots live for all to see


Suriname, Guyana’s neighbour to the east, voted on Monday and the counting of the ballots is being streamed on TV and on social media for all to see.

Many Guyanese have shared the stream of the count on Facebook, mocking the local elections commission GECOM which took weeks to decide on a recount and then only chose to stream audio of the count and an audio/video stream of just the screen during the tabulation process.

At polling stations in Suriname, the ballots were counted as citizens watched from the outside. The ballots were also called out and displayed as citizens took their own notes and made their own tally. Over 340,000 persons were registered to vote.

The ballot papers are counted and displayed for citizens to see at a polling place in Suriname.

President Dési Bouterse, first elected to office in 2010, looks set to win the polls, though he has been convicted of murder. He has appealed the conviction and the appeal is expected to come up in June.

Bouterse was convicted of the so-called “December murders” in November 2019 and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He had accepted political responsibility after his soldiers murdered 15 persons, including trade union leaders and journalists, in December 1982, shortly after he led a military coup that overthrew the government.

A court in Netherlands had in 1999 also convicted Bouterse of trafficking more than a thousand pounds of cocaine and sentenced him, in absentia, to 11 years in prison.

This is the third time Bouterse is contesting the elections after his 2010 win.

Surinamese are expected to wake up to the results of the elections on Tuesday.

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