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World IN BRIEF : SURINAME

Blaze Destroys Parliament Building

August 03, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A fire gutted Suriname's historic parliament building, raising suspicions of arson a week before legislators are to try to choose a new president for the South American nation. No one was hurt. Trade and Industry Minister Richard Kalloe said on national television from the scene in Paramaribo that he suspected arson. Police were interrogating two guards who were on duty at the parliament building. Suriname has been in flux since May 23 elections left no party with a majority in parliament. President Ronald Venetiaan's four-party coalition, which won 24 of the 51 legislative seats, has been trying for weeks to expand the coalition to include two smaller parties.

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