PARAMARIBO, SURINAME, DEC. 26 -- The military has not restricted the press or civil rights since toppling a democratically elected government in a bloodless coup on Christmas Eve, a newspaper editor said today.

{The Foreign Ministry in Caracas, Venezuela, said it would refuse to recognize Suriname's new military government, and asked for a "firm response" to the coup.}

Citizens stayed home from work on this regularly scheduled national holiday. Their only information about the coup came from TV and radio.

Newspapers do not publish on Christmas Day or the day after. But Leo Morpurgo, editor of the morning daily De Ware Tyd, said there had been no moves to restrict press freedom or other liberties.

The officers who seized power in this former Dutch colony on South America's northeastern coast pledged allegiance to democratic principles. They promised to govern in consultation with the elected National Assembly until elections can be held.

The army has given no reason for the coup, but is expected to charge deposed president Ramsewak Shankar with failing to restore economic health. Shankar had feuded with the army chief and former ruler, Cmdr. Desi Bouterse. Shankar has said he and his ousted cabinet have not been put under restrictions.

On radio Tuesday, the acting army chief said the military would set up an interim government, hold elections within 100 days and relinquish power. "The army is not bent on having and keeping power," said Cmdr. Ivan Graanoogst, who heads the military police and is second in the military chain of command. He said a "nonpolitical" cabinet would be appointed within a week.

The U.S. and Dutch governments condemned the coup.