This article was last updated on July 19, 2022
Anti-government protests take place in Suriname.
Between a thousand and 2,000 individuals demonstrated against President Santokhi’s government in Suriname on Sunday. Among other things, there was a financial scandal involving over 1.8 million euros that went missing from the Ministry of Finance’s account.
Dozens of protesters made their way to the Ministry of Economic Affairs for Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation. They’ve come up with an eleven-point list of grievances. Among other things, they urge Santokhi to suspend Finance Minister Achaibersing from his duties.
It’s also a demand that he revoke the appointments of his relatives to high-level positions. For example, many people have said that Santokhi’s wife and Vice President Brunswijk’s brother shouldn’t be on the board of directors of Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname.
Two years after Santokhi came to power, this is the first significant demonstration against the administration. During this rally, a large number of young people took the lead. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the protesters were from the working class.
These are the folks that bear the brunt of the country’s economic downturn and are forced to watch as others amass fortunes. This demonstration was centred upon the topic.
Following the cancellation of the rally, Santokhi has scheduled a three-day vacation to Paraguay. Mercosur, the customs union that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Uruguay, will be one of his stops. Suriname is a member of Mercosur as well.
In a statement released late last night, President Trump stated that he intends to meet with protestors from the so-called Team Organic. The anxiety is still there, however. Protesters plan to return to the streets today, according to their announcement.
One of Suriname’s worst financial scandals is the loss of 1.8 million euros. In 2020, the Central Bank of Suriname said that $100 million worth of savings had been taken from their cash reserve.
For his role in large-scale corruption, Robert van Trik, former head of the Suriname Central Bank, was sentenced to eight years in jail in February.