PARAMARIBO: Former president Ronald Venetiaan has resigned from parliament.
In a letter sent to Speaker of the House Jenny Geerlings-Simons last week, Venetiaan announced that he would no longer be a member of parliament as of October 27.
Venetiaan did not state the reason for the resignation.
“I just want to give younger persons the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” he said.
Venetiaan’s seat in parliament will be taken by his fellow party member, Hesdy Pigot, who was also his secretary during his presidency.
Former Speaker of the House Emile Wijntuin lauded Venetiaan’s integrity during his career, which began as a minister of education in 1973 and later as president.
“During all those years not once was his name mentioned in any corruption scandal, controversy or whatsoever,” said Wijntuin.
Venetiaan first served as president from 1991 to 1996 after which he lost in the elections to Jules Wijdenbosch. In 2000 he regained the presidency on the New Front banner, receiving an absolute majority of 37 of 51 votes in the parliament. In 2005, Venetiaan defeated Rabin Parmessar to secure a third term as president.
During his first tenure, Suriname became a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1995.
Venetiaan, a physicist and mathematician by profession, is the longest serving Head of State of Suriname.