Monday, July 25, 2005
Shock and disbelief has rippled through parliament in Suriname when a member of parliament raised doubts about presidential candidate Rabin Parmessars nationality.
House Speaker Paul Somohardjo had just opened the session to elect a new president for the country, when New Front coalition-leader Otmar Rodgers announced that he had received information that Parmessar is allegedly a Dutch national.
When Parmessar was called upon to give a statement, he ducked the question, noting that he is a Surinamese national, as all the required documents necessary for his candidacy show. The candidate said his naturalization was approved in 1992.
Suriname's law stipulates a foreigner who obtained Surinamese nationality should do their utmost to lose the old one. But it is alleged Parmessar used his Dutch passport frequently to travel to and from Suriname and the Netherlands. Next week it will be decided whether Parmessar, who is running against incumbent president Ronald Venetiaan, stays in the race.