Security & Strategic Review - March 2023

SURINAME: Frustrations boil over

When Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi took office on 13 July 2020, he was welcomed by a downgrading of Suriname to “selective default” by the ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. The new president admitted that after 10 years of deeply flawed governance under authoritarian former president Desi Bouterse (2010-2020), the country was “on the brink of a financial abyss” with the treasury “virtually empty”. The civil unrest that broke out on 17 February is a direct consequence of that unhappy legacy, albeit compounded by the consequences of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and, more recently, the Ukraine war.

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