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SURINAME | Santokhi begins coalition talks, Bouterse wants recounts

  • Written by Calvin G Brown - wiredja.com
  • Published in Politics
Featured The VHP led by Chandrikapersad Santokhi (m) has started negotiations with the Abop led by Ronnie Brunswijk (l). Talks with the NPS led by Gregory Russia (r) will probably follow. The VHP led by Chandrikapersad Santokhi (m) has started negotiations with the Abop led by Ronnie Brunswijk (l). Talks with the NPS led by Gregory Russia (r) will probably follow.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname, May 29, 2020 - Ahead of the official declarations in Monday’s general elections, negotiations have already begun between the apparent winners, Chandrikapersad Santokhi’s VHP with 20 seats  and  the Abop party led by Ronnie Brunswijk to form a new coalition government in Suriname.

However, the incumbent, president Desi Bouterse is saying his NDP party is not to be ruled out, even though the party has in the preliminary count reduced its margin from 26 to sixteen parliamentary seats.

The NDP will request recounts in three constituencies and is hoping to pick up two additional seats due to what he said were irregularities in several boxes.

According to NDP chairman Desi Bouterse, "a lot of ballot boxes still need to be counted". The politician says that a lot of fake news is still being spread. He thinks that the opposition is making unnecessary noise, while there is as yet "nothing to worry about" with the processing of the ballot box results. According to him, "people" are trying to run all kinds of scenarios as the point approaches that the NDP could get to eighteen DNA seats.

The NDP chairman says that when the Independent Electoral Bureau has declared the election results binding and its party appears to have lost its head, it will be bowed to the will of the people. However, according to him "a lot can still happen". He believes that recounting and publishing all results will bring more transparency to society. Therefore, his party will protest and ask for recount.

Despite this however, The VHP and Abop have started negotiations to form a new coalition government. It is not excluded that the NPS is also involved.

According to  Alven Roosveld, one of the three designated spokespersons of the VHP, "scoping" talks, are underway. As soon as the official result has been determined, the VHP will announce who the party will be working with and what the policy to be pursued will be. Any coalition partners will have to be able to identify with the election program and the reconstruction plan of the VHP, Roosveld says.

Its understood that that three positions - the presidency, vice-presidency and presidency DNA - have already been discussed. Reportedly, the presidency and chairmanship of parliament will go to the VHP and Abop will be able to nominate a candidate vice president if it comes to an actual VHP / Abop coalition government.

The Abop and PL have repeatedly expressed strong opposition to cooperation with NDP. "It is still important to us that the NDP has to go and we were able to achieve that - Abop and Pertjajah Luhur (PL). So we more or less achieved the seats together," says Gilbert van Lierop, Abop's DNA candidate in Paramaribo.

He calls the list connection a strategic move to get rid of the NDP. "I believe that if there had been more collaborations with other parties, the victory would be greater. I hope the small parties realize that people will not get there without cooperation."

According to Van Lierop, there will be no question of a split. "Good agreements have been made between the party leaders. The seats have been achieved together," he says. His party is getting ready to blow a new wind in Suriname. "In any case, we are ready and you also notice that society wants change."

Paramartibo's online newspaper dwtonline.com quotes Marten Schalkwijk of research agency Nikos, as saying that the  NDP has shot itself in the foot by showing increasingly arrogant political behavior.

According to Schalkwijk, "everything became purple and that started to irritate people. They did not realize that they no longer had to run a purple campaign." What has convinced many voters, according to Schalkwijk, is the bad economic policy and the fact that Finance Minister Gillmore Hoefdraad has been overlooked for too long."

"In 2015, the NDP won partly due to the economy because the citizens had some money, and now the party has also lost because of the economy, because voters have nothing left in their pockets because of the financial mismanagement that has been conducted."

 

Last modified onFriday, 29 May 2020 08:52
  • Countries: Suriname