Melvin Bouva

Melvin Bouva

President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Forum of Young Parliamentarians

Melvin Bouva (Paramaribo, March 9, 1982) is a Surinamese politician. He was the first elected president of the National Youth Parliament from 2004 to 2007. In 2010 he became a member of the National Assembly. He has been vice-president of this parliament since 2015.

After the National Youth Parliament was established in 2004, he was one of the first group of elected youth parliamentarians to be installed on November 3, 2004. Two weeks later, he succeeded the first provisional chairman Rayen Vyent by means of a vote in parliament. It stayed on until October 2007.

After this he became a Youth Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals of the UN (together with Yldiz Beighle). In these years he also wrote columns. In 2009 he joined the National Democratic Party of Desi Bouterse. His choice for the NDP was surprising at the time, because until then he was mainly placed in the corner of the NPS of Ronald Venetiaan. When he stood for election on April 1, 2010 for the elections in May, he resigned his position as youth ambassador for principled political reasons.

In the meantime he obtained his bachelor's degree in law from the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. Later, in August 2015, he graduated with a master's degree in public administration.

Bouva argued in the run-up to the 2010 elections that Bouterse could still be elected president in the event of a conviction for the December murders. He substantiated this with the comparison that Nelson Mandela has also been in prison. Two years after he became a member of the National Assembly (DNA), in 2012, he was one of the initiators of the Amnesty Act that was supposed to prevent Bouterse from being convicted for the December murders. However, the process had already started and then continued as usual.

In 2015 he was elected vice president of DNA. In addition, in 2019 in Qatar, he was elected chair of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians belonging to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

In 2018, he was included in the list of 100 Most Influential People in the World in African Diaspora (MIPAD) under 40, set by the United Nations General Assembly. He was awarded the prize for this at the beginning of October 2019.

In 2019, Minister Lekhram Soerdjan of Spatial Planning, Land and Forest Management and Bouva came up with an incentive plan for high marks, by rewarding the six best graduates of school institutions with a plot of land in Reeberg in Wanica. Building land is scarce in Suriname in 2019 and difficult for people to obtain.

In the 2020 elections, he was reelected for a five-year term in DNA.