There will be a meeting space in the National Assembly (DNA) building, which was entirely refurbished last year. The project “Delivering the DNA Meeting Complex for Use” was started today in order to achieve this. On this occasion, the return of democracy was stressed by both President Chan Santokhi and Public Works Minister Riad Nurmohamed (OW).The plan is described as a total restoration of democracy by the OW minister, but President Santokhi asserted that, like the DNA building, democracy has emerged from the ashes.
The head of state further spoke of a milestone. He pointed out that the Surinamese constitution was adopted in the meeting room of the parliament building, which was destroyed by fire in 1996. Since this is the house of democracy, according to President Santokhi, all preconditions must be in place for that democracy to function properly.
He also dwelt on the decisions to rebuild the building. According to the head of state, these took place in a field of tension. However, according to him, this is also the power of democracy, where the numerical majority not only decides, but takes all feelings, thoughts and opinions into account.
Referring to the criticism surrounding the construction of the meeting complex, the head of state stated that transparency, communication, information and adjustment are needed. The government does not ignore this and is always available to provide accountability. According to him, it is also important that society is kept fully informed, including that all funds are accounted for. President Santokhi called for efforts to ensure that democracy continues to survive and that the buildings are well maintained.
The starting signal was accompanied by the unveiling of the nameplate of the meeting room, a presentation by architect Derrick Emanuels as well as a speech by OW deputy director of Construction Works Rakesh Kalisingh.
Both parliament speaker Marinus Bee and VHP parliamentarian Mahinder Jogi are looking forward to the delivery of the project; the work is scheduled for 12 calendar months. The aim is to hold at least an annual speech and a budget discussion in the new meeting room. According to Parliament Speaker Bee, the matter has been well analyzed. He believes that by talking together, matters can be streamlined and serve as motivation to successfully complete the project.