Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Final lap as Suriname votes on Monday

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2020 | 12:00 AMCMC

(CMC): More than 383,000 voters in Suriname will go to the polls on Monday to elect a new government amid predictions that voter turnout could decline.

In 2015, 70 per cent of voters participated in the election.

Political observers note that two days before the poll, electors are yet to see a single sample ballot on television or social media.

“This is necessary to demonstrate how to vote and prevents a large number of invalid votes. Especially given the number of first time voters, it is very important to provide as much information as possible about not only the voting process, but also how it should be done,” the de Ware Tijd newspaper said in its online publication on Saturday.

The paper reported that another setback for the polls is likely to be a “polluted’ voters list. It stated that it is unclear why the Central Bureau of Civil Affairs, headed by director Dennis Menso, who was appointed last January, has not had dialogue with Jennifer van Dijk-Silos, the president of the Independent Electoral Bureau (OKB), who has been following the elections for 20 years.

“That the agency instead chooses to publicly contradict the institute is not necessary, to say the least. Especially when it is taken into account that there are rumours about fraud with foreigners,” the paper reported.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Desi Bouterse, has dismissed an opinion polls published on Friday indicating that the ruling party would be defeated in the election. In the 2015 poll, the party won 27 of the 51 seats and 80 per cent of the votes cast.

“Just as Idos conducted her poll, we also conducted our own poll. We arrive at a minimum of 23 and a maximum of 29 seats,” said Amzad Abdoel, the NDP group leader and a candidate in Wanica.

The research agency, Idos, in a statement Friday noted: “With a few days to go to the ballot box on May 25, a substantial part of the voters can still be counted among the floating voters. The substantial loss of the NDP that will drop from nine to five DNA seats in Paramaribo, that alone will cause the NDP to be referred to opposition banks on May 25, 2020."

It also predicted that the party will lose seats in the capital, with the trend expected to continue in other districts.

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