CARICOM leaders briefed on political situation in Suriname

The president of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, briefed fellow heads of government attending the 37th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in Guyana about the political and economic setbacks his country is experiencing. He called on leaders to understand the situation in Suriname and reiterated his respect for the democratic process.

Last week, Bouterse halted his trial in relation to the 1982 killing of 15 political opponents during the period when he was military leader, by invoking clause 148 of Suriname’s constitution to end the trial in the interest of “national security”.

He told the audience, “I wish to state that the political stability of Suriname, within the rule of law and the constitution, will constitute the actual promotion of the development of human capital to become the prime engine of our stabilization and recovery plan.”

Suriname’s economy has been negatively affected by a drop in commodities prices and Bouterse urged CARICOM member states to diversify and industrialize their economies.

Suriname has forged several agreements with the IMF, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), making available more than three billion dollars aimed at economic diversification and therefore sustainability of the economy, he noted.

Bouterse also made a veiled reference to “foreign domination” interfering in the internal affairs of other countries by fostering economic and political instabilities.

“We are aware of the fact that the present economic challenges and its social effects have created a situation whereby agendas geared towards foreign domination of our countries are becoming manifest. These agendas use a variety of political and judicial mechanisms to achieve their goals. There are various examples in the South American region, making it necessary to stay alert in this respect,” he said.

Bouterse said that development “can only take place in an atmosphere of political stability. We invite the other heads of state and their governments to remain aware of this reality, and give Suriname the kind of support, which will enable us to broaden and deepen our social program, directed towards our students, our labourers, our farmers, our entrepreneurs and our senior citizens.”

Prior to the Georgetown summit, Bouterse met on Wednesday with President David Granger of Guyana, who travelled to Paramaribo for the meeting, while the country observed “Keti Koti” (Emancipation Day). Prior to that, the head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, and Delcy Rodriguez, the foreign minister of Venezuela and pro tempore chair of UNASUR, were also in Suriname for a briefing.

Bouterse told the Guyanese president that Suriname will put aside the border issue for now and focus attention in spurring more economic development between the two Dutch- and English-speaking neighbours. Both countries have renewed efforts to bridge Courantyne River that divides Guyana and Suriname to facilitate more commerce.

Meanwhile, a second well drilled by Exxon Mobil this week confirmed a significant oil reserve off the Guyana coast.

Caribbeannewsnow


Bevolking geeft Bouterse een vier voor zijn prestaties

Inwoners van Paramaribo geven de regering een dikke onvoldoende: een vier. Dat blijkt uit een opiniepeiling van onderzoeksbureau Nikos. Het onderzoek is gehouden onder zo’n duizend stadsbewoners van achttien jaar en ouder, waarvan 66 procent niet tevreden is. Zeventien procent twijfelt.

De perikelen rondom het decemberstrafproces zijn ook meegenomen. Opmerkelijk is dat er dus grote ontevredenheid heerst over Bouterse, maar alsnog 35 procent vindt dat de regering en De Nationale Assemblee zich wel mogen bemoeien met het 8 decemberstrafproces. 52 procent gaf aan dat dit absoluut niet mag, en 13 procent twijfelt. Een andere stelling luidt: ‘‘De rechters in Suriname doen hun best en men moet ze ruimte geven om hun werk te doen’. Maar liefst 76 procent was het hiermee eens, 12 procent was het er niet mee eens en 13 procent vond het lastig te zeggen.
De derde stelling: ‘Men moet een uitspraak of vonnis van de rechter altijd uitvoeren’. Het overgrote deel van de respondenten was het hier mee eens (77 procent), terwijl 11 procent het er niet mee eens was en 12 procent aangaf dat het moeilijk te zeggen was. Vanwege de kosten is de peiling beperkt gehouden tot één district.

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