On May 25 Suriname goes to the ballot box. Political parties struggle to get votes. Flags of various parties are placed throughout the country. However, flags do not fill the stomachs, but food packages do. Do these packages influence citizens’ voting behavior?
“I was skeptical at first, but now I don’t know who to vote for. If I receive a thousand Surinamese dollars as an AOV benefit, I can do more with it and even help others,” says Ruth. She agrees that no packages have been provided for a while. “That’s right, but we did receive free packages from the NDP people in connection with Mother’s Day.”
Shanti’s mother was also happy when she heard that she will receive a supplement of SRD 525 for six months on her General Old Age Pension (AOV). What will her mother do with the extra money? “She’s going to do some shopping for the house.”
Due to the huge price increases, her mother can now only afford the necessary, says Shanti. “She can’t wait to get her money.” Her mother does want to vote for the NDP if she keeps the allowance after the elections.
Society has the idea that fishermen earn a lot of money. “That’s what people think, but everything has become more expensive. I will not queue for a food package, but if I get one I will be happy,” said Hemchand, a fisherman by profession. “It is thought that you earn a lot as a fisherman, but the goods you have to buy to stay at sea for a few days are now three times more expensive.”