This article was last updated on July 20, 2022
Santokhi’s meeting with protestors in Suriname has been cancelled because of the ongoing demonstrations.
Anti-Santokhi protesters in Suriname have stated that they will take to the streets for the third day in a succession. An anti-Burswijk demonstration will take place in front of the ministry of the vice president. Included among the eleven requests made by the demonstrators is the nullification of their brother’s appointment to a high governmental position.
Protesters in Paramaribo also took to the streets on Monday. As a result, Santokhi feels left out of the debate. We don’t need snazzy phrases to express our feelings. For the past two years, we’ve been hearing those things “in their own words,” says a general statement from the collective known as Team Organic.
The demonstrators’ demands for the Santokhi government are spelled out in this declaration as well. They also want the Minister of Finance to resign over the loss of 1.8 million euros, in addition to justifying the rise in gas prices.
Julian Neijhorst, editor-in-chief of the Surinamese thought magazine Parbode, describes the requests as “a diversified bundle that represents the overwhelming displeasure with the Santokhi regime.” Two years after the resignation of former president Bouterse, a Surinamese magazine surveyed the public’s satisfaction with government policies.
The monthly poll was filled out by tens of thousands of people. When it comes to addressing our country’s various issues, the Santokhi-Brunswijk administration is receiving a (deep) insufficient from its constituents two years after assuming power. Many people are unhappy with the country’s corruption and economic predicament.
“Since the Santokhi government’s displeasure has been building for the previous two years, the demands are wide-ranging.” These issues include, but are not limited to, those of cronyism, corruption, health care, inflation, and floods. Among the many things that contribute to the public’s distrust in the government is a wide spectrum.
That many people showed up to protest is remarkable, as this seldom happens in Suriname. Since then, the country has been plagued by political turmoil. Some of those demonstrators have now returned to the streets to voice their concerns once more. There are now more working-class protestors, individuals who have been impacted by the economic downturn, among the demonstrators.
Editor-in-chief Neijhorst understands the protestors’ displeasure, given Suriname’s present economic predicament. This place’s quality of life has gotten worse and worse in recent years, according to him. A euro was worth 8.35 Surinamese dollars in 2019, but that has risen to a current value of $23.17. Despite the rise in food and gasoline prices, “incomes have not grown.”
Additionally, the Santokhi government is plagued by a slew of scandals, the most recent of which being the disappearance of €1.8 million in government funds. In their list of requests, the activists seek further information on this.
Neijhorst claims that “nearly every month” a controversy breaks out. “Those 1.8 million people may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many others.” There’s a lot of excitement about showing up. “
Deeds are what the furious demonstrators are looking for, not words.
Angry and dissatisfied demonstrators in Suriname yell, “The bomb has exploded!”
Disappointment with the new government following Bouterse’s resignation is also a factor in the demonstrations. Neijhorst isn’t sure that Santokhi will be able to fix the problems he left behind when he retired, like a $1 billion debt and a long-standing corruption problem.
There is no doubt that the former administration has left behind an enormous amount of debris. “On top of that, the Corona issue and the economic crisis occurred.” Santokhi has no choice except to accept the situation. The fact that he can do nothing about fighting corruption, on the other hand, isn’t helpful when you’re trying to set a horrible example for your children and grandchildren. “
The demonstrators have stated that they will not speak to the president until their demands are met. For the time being, it doesn’t appear to be the case.