Potential joint venture NDP and VHP marred
President Desi Bouterse on Monday strongly criticized opposition MP Asiskumar Gajadien (VHP). Although he did not mention him by name, the president clearly looked at him and pointed his finger as he spoke of a pig, donkey and political chick. MP Gajadien last week accused the president of sending young woman to massage parlors because of the crisis in the country. This accusation has seriously marred any potential joint venture between the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Progressive Reform Party (VHP) after the general elections of 2020. Bouterse has already made it clear that MP Gajadien is not welcome at the negotiating table when both parties discuss a future collaboration.
President Bouterse on Friday angrily left the conference room when MP Gajadien had the floor and made the accusations. Bouterse on Monday gave his response to MP Gajadien. “Because of the comments made by one of your members which were hurtful, insulting, degrading and even very inappropriate towards the head of state, I was forced to leave the conference early in order to protect the institute of the president,” said Bouterse during the discussion of the general political views. “I can assure you that the behavior of said MP will have political consequences.” MP Gajadien deemed this statement as a threat. The chairwoman of parliament, Jennifer Geerlings-Simons, did not agree with Gajadien’s interpretation which is why she did not ask the head of state to take back his words as requested by MP Gajadien. Bouterse mentioned some examples of a good collaboration between him and prominent members of the VHP in the interest of the country and the people. He pointed out that they provided assistance in securing the $550 million government bond loan. “Vijay Kirpalani got us through it and of course a prominent VHP member. So you see that we need each other. I thanked his chairman after that,” said Bouterse as he reffered to VHP chairman Chandrikapersad Santokhi. He explained that the accusations were therefore very hurtful. MP Gajadien accused the president of being responsible for letting young women work at massage parlors in order to get through the crisis. The president made it clear that the NDP will not sit at the same negotiating table with the person who made the accusation. “If he is present, there will be no dialogue. It could have huge political consequences for this political chick,” said Bouterse.