He won the presidency with the help of two smaller parties after weeks of strenuous efforts by the opposition to stop him.
Mr Bouterse's election campaign concentrated on winning over poorer voters who felt let down by the previous government's economic austerity programme. In 2007, he was put on trial for allegedly ordering the killing of 15 political opponents as military ruler in 1982.
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However, there is little assimilation between the different ethnic groups, which confine their contacts to the economic sphere.So, Suriname depends heavily on mining and processing its declining reserves of bauxite and is vulnerable to falls in commodity prices.Suriname and neighbouring Guyana have been engaged in a long-running territorial dispute over a potentially oil-rich offshore area.Dutch rule1667 - British cede their part of Suriname to the Netherlands in exchange for New Amsterdam (later called New York City).1682 - Coffee and sugar cane plantations established and worked by African slaves. 1863 - Slavery abolished; indentured labourers brought in from India, Java and China to work on plantations.
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