18.06.12 Suriname Politics and Security
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 Dési Bouterse in the 2010 elections. Venetiaan, also known as 'the
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
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
state, having only two of the 51 seats in the National Assembly”.
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