Monday, 19 August 2013

Cameroon: Opposition adopts populist rhetoric

Opposition adopts populist rhetoric but it will take more than this to reduce Bouterse's current popularity.

An example of the opposition's MPs populist criticism was the letter they wrote to President Bouterse about the issue of crime. They want Desi Bouterse to outline his crime prevention programme to parliament. They asked whether - besides more investments in the police and their equipment, infrastructure and training - their policies for sustainable unemployment and poverty should be included. They cite the president's previous promises but the latest crime statistics indicate a downward trend, with Suriname's record significantly better than many other countries in the region.

Also, in response to a dramatic accident in which two school-children drowned during a school trip at a resort near the Suriname River, the opposition's Shaleindra Girjasing MP attacked the government by posing questions like: "Why was it only closed down after the accident and not beforehand? Therefore: who should be held responsible? What measures have been taken to prevent this in the future in view of the holiday that is coming up?"

It was not, however, mentioned by Girjasing that it is this government which is currently in the process of introducing life-guard requirements and nets in the water to avoid drowning. The previous administration, of which Girjasing's VHP party was a member, had no significant contribution to the safety of dozens of Suriname's resorts.

It will require sturdier weapons for the opposition to overthrow Desi's popularity and win the hearts of a changing electorate in two years' time.

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

© 2013 Menas Associates

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