PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Suriname's president has dismissed the acting speaker of Parliament, asserting the firing was necessary to uphold the South American nation's constitution.
President Desi Bouterse told reporters Monday that he "had no other choice than to dismiss" acting speaker Paul Somohardjo shortly after he was sworn because Somohardjo said he needed more time to prepare for the body's inaugural session.
Bouterse says a crisis would have been created if other members of the new Parliament were not sworn in Tuesday, five years after the last legislature started.
Somohardjo's legal adviser, Hugo Essed, asserts the firing was an illegal move by the president. But constitutional law professor Sam Polanen says Bouterse was right to take action.
Last month, Bouterse's party dominated elections to win a 26-seat majority in the 51-seat Parliament.