Economy key issue as Suriname election begins

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The economy remains the central issue surrounding the elections in Suriname, held in the country on Monday. The improving economic situation in the country in recent years has much to do with the high price of gold between 2010 and 2013, writes RTL Nieuws. The government benefited from the high commodity price, and so, in turn, did the population.

However, there is still much poverty remaining in the country. Now the global prices of gold and oil are dropping. In these circumstances, the new government has to show it is able to maintain the economic growth that in recent years reached the level of four to five percent.

As many as 25 political parties are competing in the Surinamese election. The largest party, according to the polls, is the current President Desi Bourterse's National Democratic Party (NDP). The six larger opposing parties earlier formed a V7 political coalition.

Bouterse said his party had shown the governance skill in the past five years that attracted over members from opposing parties. He emphasized that his party existed to serve. "We do not work for the NDP, but for the people," he said.

The opposing coalition promised to invest more in the human capital, viewing the current government unsuited for providing stable future development for the country. The coalition leader, Chandrika Sanokhi, appealed to parents urging them not to let their children make the mistake of voting for NDP.

Around 350,000 registered voters received their voting cards in the past months to participate in the elections.