SURINAME: Thousands of protesters vent anger at rising cost of living; National Assembly stormed

Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2023, 13:08 by Denis Chabrol

Tear smoke outside the National Assembly Building, Paramaribo, Suriname (Starnieuws picture)

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paramaribo, Suriname, storming the National Assembly building and looting businesses as pressure mounted on the government in the wake of rising prices for fuel and general cost of living.

The protesters are demanding that President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Vice President Ronnie Brunswijk resign because they have presided over an International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescription of economic measures that have resulted in a steady steep rise in prices.

Starnieuws reported that police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse persons, but a Guyanese eyewitness who is on the scene said they  they returned moments in large numbers.

A section of the National Assembly building was badly damaged. It appeared that responders managed to extinguish a fire that was set inside the Assembly building.

President Santokhi missed the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in The Bahamas and opted to address the opening virtually.

The  exchange rate has slipped from 15 Suriname dollars to US$1.00 to  35 Suriname dollars to US$1.00 while government has cut subsidies.