Residents of Saba and St. Eustatius were eligible to vote in the election of the Dutch Parliament’s Second Chamber for the first time on Wednesday. However, turnout was low on both islands of the Caribbean Netherlands.
Labour party PvdA won the popular vote in St. Eustatius, while centre-democrat D66 of former Minister of Governmental Reform and Kingdom Relations Alexander Pechtold won the election on Saba by a landslide.
Only 274 of 1,760 eligible voters turned up at in St. Eustatius’ sole polling station to participate in the election. In comparison, 1,455 of 2,140 eligible voters turned out for last year’s Island Council election.
Saba counted 228 voters participating in the election, a turnout of 28.4 per cent. The polling stations closed at 9:00pm.
St. Eustatius Island Governor Gerald Berkel announced the preliminary results of the election, in which Labour party PvdA received most votes at 74, followed by D66 with 73 votes, Socialist Party (SP) 57 and conservative VVD 23 votes. Green-left GroenLinks won 15 votes, Christian Democrat CDA nine and Christian Union four. Orthodox-Christian SGP, Party for Freedom PVV and 50Plus each won two votes, and one vote was cast for Anti-European Party (AEP).
The election results in Saba were made public by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson. D66 won the election in Saba with an absolute majority of 54.8 per cent at 121 votes. PvdA was a distant second with 44 votes, or 19.9 per cent of the total tally. SP finished third among Saba voters with 20 votes (nine per cent). VVD and GroenLinks each won nine votes, Animal Party PvdD won five votes and CDA four. PVV and AEP each won three votes. Christian Union, Democratic Political Turning Point DPK and 50Plus won one vote each.
An official ballot box from The Netherlands was used in an election in St. Eustatius for the first time. The box, which had a close resemblance to a garbage bin, arrived on the island Tuesday evening aboard speedboat Warm Embrace. Civil Registry head Ricardo Tjie-A-Loi was present at Charles A. Woodley pier to receive this special delivery.