Bouterse made a fool in parliament

(De Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – President Desi Bouterse was made a fool in Parliament yesterday when he explained that his order to suspend payment of a claim by bridge constructor Ballast Nedam Infra had not been carried out. Bouterse was in Parliament is view of the budget debate. The President argued that despite approval by the Council of Ministers, he had not signed the order for payment yet, for he would like to study it carefully with his legal aides so no order for payment had been given yet. Asiskoemar Gajadien (NF/VHP), in response to the President’s announcement, requested an adjournment only to return with a presidential resolution which authorizes the Minister of Public Works to pay the claim Ballast Nedam in excess of 3.5 million Euros. Ballast Nedam had demanded the money when the government cancelled the order to build a new bridge across the Suriname River at Carolina. Bouterse was caught unawares. The resolution is dated 29 November while RvM approval is dated 20 October. He requested an adjournment and when he returned explained that there had been a mistake. His order to suspend payment had not been carried out. The resolution was signed by Gustaaf Samijadi, deputy Permanent Secretary at Home Affairs. NF Member of Parliament Guno Castelen says he would like to believe in the Head of State’s sincerity, but he cannot understand why the resolution has been signed. The persons in charge of the administrative settlement of this matter have failed to protect the President, so they must answer for it. The New Front fraction was interested in whether the money to Ballast Nedam had been paid or not.


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