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Suriname Cabinet Resigns; New Constitution Approved

April 1, 1987

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) _ The National Assembly on Tuesday approved a new constitution designed to pave the way for elections to replace the regime of Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse, who seized power in a 1980 coup.

The Suriname News Agency also said Bouterse’s nine-member Cabinet resigned Monday, but it added that most ministers were expected to return to their same jobs soon.

Bouterse had been scheduled to name a new cabinet Tuesday, but he delayed the appointments because the Topberaad, a council that sets policies implemented by the Cabinet, had been busy reviewing the draft constitution. Bouterse is chairman of the Topberaad.

The National Assembly, which was appointed by Bouterse, approved the constitution after 5 1/2 hours of debate, the news agency said.

The constitution is to be submitted to referendum within six months. If it is approved, elections for a president, vice president and new National Assembly are to be conducted six months later.

The National Assembly was appointed in January 1985 to draw up a constitution to replace the one voided by the 1980 coup. The assembly, which worked 27 months to draft the 186-article document, finished last week and gave the document to a team of legal experts for final drafting.

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