Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Suriname: Gregory Rusland is favourite to chair opposition NPS


Gregory Rusland, a former minister of national resources in the previous cabinet, is favourite to assume the presidency of the opposition National Party of Suriname (NPS). The party was almost permanently in office following the country's first democratic elections in 1987 after the military period. President Ronald Venetiaan governed the country twice – from 1991-96 and from 2000-10 - before being defeated by D├ęsi Bouterse in the 2010 elections. Venetiaan, also known as 'the man with ten clean fingers', is still the NPS chairman but there has been criticism because of the lack of action during his presidency, with some people cynically saying that he has ten clean fingers because he did not use them.

Rusland was the minister who – as part of the Venetiaan government - signed a contract with Goldminer Iamgold which is often criticised as profitable for the Canadian multinational. Although it has never been proven, Rusland is often accused of corruption because, almost immediately after the deal was signed, he suddenly owned real estate in Florida which he could never have bought with his salary.

In this context, it is interesting to hear from Arnold Kruisland who is a senior and prominent NPS member. Without explicitly referring to Rusland's real estate, he said that “the NPS has a tradition of good governance by chairmen that only have 'ten clean fingers'. Any chairman of whom it is found out that he doesn't, will be removed. NPS, once the biggest political party of Suriname, is now in a deplorable state, having only two of the 51 seats in the National Assembly”.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Suriname Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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