The National Assembly

First Section  ORGANIZATION AND COMPOSITION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Article 55
1. The National Assembly represents the people of the Republic of Suriname and expresses the sovereign will of the nation.

2. The National Assembly is the highest organ of the State.

Second Section  ELECTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Article 56
1. Members of the National Assembly shall be elected for a five-year term.

2. The law can only derogate from the five-year term in case of war or other extraordinary circumstances, which prevent the holding of elections.

Article 57
1. The members of the National Assembly shall be elected directly by the inhabitants having Suriname nationality and having reached the age of eighteen years.

2. Each elector shall have one vote only.

Article 58
Those persons shall be debarred from exercising the right to vote:
a. To whom the right to vote has been denied by an irrevocable judicial decision;

b. Who are lawfully deprived of their liberty

c. Who, by virtue of an irrevocable judicial decision, have lost the right to dispose of or administer their property on account of insanity or imbecility.

Article 59
Eligible are the inhabitants who have Suriname nationality, who have reached the age of twenty-one and have not been deprived of the right to vote on the grounds mentioned in the previous article under (a) and (c).

Article 60
Everything else relating to universal suffrage, the creation of an independent electoral council and its authority the division of Suriname in electoral districts, the repartition of seats in the National Assembly by electoral district and the methods according to which the allocation of seats takes place shall be regulated by law. This law shall be passed with a 2/3 majority.

Third Section  MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Article 61
1. The National Assembly consists of 51 members chosen by district on the basis of general, free and secret elections by virtue of the system of proportionate representation on the highest number of average and preferential votes.

2. Persons who have submitted their candidacy for election as representatives in the National Assembly shall live in said district and shall have had their main or real residence there during two years preceding the elections.

Article 62
The law determines for which functions the membership of the National Assembly shall result in the suspension from duty.

Article 63
Repealed.

Article 64
The sessions of the National Assembly and of the other representative organs on the local and district levels coincide as much as possible.

Article 65
When assuming office the members shall make the following oath or promise:

“I swear (promise) that in order to be elected a member of the National Assembly I have not given or promised, nor will give or promise, directly or indirectly, under whatsoever name or pretext, anything to anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that in order to do or refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office, I will not accept any promises or presents, directly or indirectly, from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (promise) that I will fulfill the office of member of the Assembly conscientiously.
I swear (promise) that I will foster the well-being of Suriname to the best of my capacities.
I swear (promise) obedience to the Constitution and all other rules of law.
I swear (promise) allegiance to the Republic of Suriname. So help me, God Almighty (that I declare and promise).”

Article 66
Within thirty days at the latest after the members of the National Assembly are chosen, this organ convenes under the chairmanship of the member most senior in years, and in case of unavailability or absence, always by the next eldest member. In this meeting the National Assembly shall examine the credentials of its new members, and shall settle disputes arising concerning those credentials or the election itself, according to rules to be laid down by law.
In the case where several members could be eligible for appointment as most senior member, who will act as chairman is decided by lot.

Article 67
1. The most senior member referred to in the previous article shall, previous to this meeting, take the prescribed oath or promise before the President, after which he shall swear in the other fifty members. Hereafter, the meeting attends to the business of electing a speaker and a deputy speaker of the National Assembly, who shall immediately assume their functions.

2. The speaker shall take the required oath or promise, in the National Assembly before the acting chairman.

3. If the acting chairman is elected as speaker he takes the required oath or promise in the National Assembly before the deputy speaker.

Fourth Section  TERMINATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Article 68
1. Membership of the National Assembly is terminated by:
  1. Death;
  2. Discharge on personal request;
  3. Revocation of the member in the manner to be laid down by law;;
  4. The arising of conditions that exclude eligibility;
  5. an appointment as Minister or Under-Minister;
  6. Absence during an uninterrupted period of five months
  7. Condemnation for criminal offence in an irrevocable judicial decision to a penalty involving loss of liberty of at least five months.
2. Membership of the National Assemply is incompatible with the office of Minister or Under-Minister, provided that upon the election of a Minister or Under-Minister as a Member to the National Assembly, the office of Minister or Under-Minister can be combined with membership of the National Assembly for no longer than three months after admission to the National Assembly.

3. Further rules regarding the loss of membership of the National Assembly can be laid down by law.