Johan Ferrier, the first president of Suriname following the South American country’s independence from the Netherlands in 1975, has died at his home in Oegstgeest at the age of 99.
Ferrier, who was a teacher before becoming a founder member of the Suriname National party, was governor in the run up to independence and then became president.
He was deposed in a military coup on August 13, 1980 led by Desi Bouterse, and moved to the Netherlands with his family.
Knighted by the Dutch queen, Ferrier remained optimistic about his home country, according to a short obituary in the Volkskrant. ‘Even in the darkest days, I kept my optimism,’ the paper quoted him as saying.