Former Surinam President Johan Ferrier has died aged 99 in The Netherlands. From 1967 until 1975, when the Dutch colony gained independence, Dr Ferrier was Surinam's last governor. He served as the country's first president between 1975 and 1980.
Born in Paramaribo in 1910, he began his career as a teacher. In 1946 he was among those who founded the Surinam National Party and until 1948 he had a seat in the National Council, the precursor of the National Assembly. After studying educational theory in Amsterdam, he returned to Surinam to resume his career in education, and later served as the country's head of education. Between 1955 and 1958, Mr Ferrier was prime minister and interior minister.
In August 1980, six months after a coup led by army sergeant Desi Bouterse, he and his family left Surinam to live in Oegstgeest, in the Netherlands. In 1999 he was chosen as Surinam's most important politician of the century. His memoirs, entitled Last Governor, First President: The Century of Johan Ferrier, Surinamese, appeared in 2005.
Former Surinam President Johan Ferrier