Monday , March 20 2023

Majority support for independent Curacao?

THE HAGUE–The five largest parties in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, the VVD, PvdA, PVV, SP and CDA, consider the election results in Curaçao a call for independence. They will fully cooperate with Curaçao’s departure from the Dutch Kingdom if the people confi rm this wish in a future referendum.

“The people of Curaçao have chosen for the former coalition of the MFK party of Gerrit Schotte and the Pueblo Soberano PS party of Helmin Wiels. This means that the people have voted for independence,” said Member of Parliament (MP) Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP).
The largest parties which together represent 122 of the 150 seats in the Second Chamber responded irately when news reached The Netherlands that PS had
won Friday’s elections with 19,716 votes according to the preliminary results. PS won five seats as did MFK, though it received less votes than the PS. The MAN party maintained its two seats in Parliament. Together the three parties represent 12 of the 21 seats in Curaçao’s Parliament.
The fact that so many people chose for the pro-independence party cannot be without consequences, said MP André Bosman of the conservative VVD party.
“Wiels cannot be calling for independence every time and then just walk away. Now he truly has to make that move,” he said.
The Labour Party PvdA will await a proposal to seek independence for Curaçao. And when that proposal comes, the party will give its fullest cooperation
to comply with the desire of the Curaçao people, said MP Martijn van Dam of the PvdA. “To continue on the road of the past two years with the MFK, PS
and MAN leaves only one option for the future of Curaçao: independence,” he said.
The Party for Freedom PVV will call on the Dutch Government to immediately facilitate independence for Curaçao. According to PVV Leader MP Geert
Wilders and MP Sietse Fritsma the election results mean that the island has to depart the Kingdom posthaste. The Christian Democratic Party CDA is also positive about an independent Curaçao. “If the Curaçao people would vote for this in a referendum, they can get their wish yesterday,” said MP Madeleine van
The Dutch parties assume that the new Curaçao Government will move to organize a referendum. “The Netherlands in any case will make clear that it cannot
carry the responsibility for good governance in Curaçao,” said Van Raak. Van Raak said that The Netherlands can no longer work with the MFK now that it has become clear that Schotte has ties with the mafia. Cooperation with PS and Wiels is also not possible because that party wants independence, he added.
“The people are facing tough times. Independence would have been easier in 2010, when The Netherlands paid off the debts of the island and agreements
were made on good governance and solid finances. Two years of Schotte and Wiels resulted in more power for the mafia, a culture of fear and intimidation
and has financially ruined the island,” said Van Raak. “People have voted for a party that wants complete independence. That is also better for the Dutch taxpayer because we have already invested too much money and energy, all in vain,” said Wilders and Fritsma.
Wilders and Fritsma announced that they will ask the Dutch Government during the handlingof the draft 2013 budget of Kingdom Relations this Wednesday to let go of Curaçao. “Somebody who wants to return Dutch people in body bags wins the elections and wants to continue cooperation with mafia friend Schotte. Naturally, we no longer want anything to do with them,” they said.
According to Van Dam, it is now up to Wiels to take the initiative. “Wiels can now make true what he has always said. He won’t have any credibility if he goes
into a cabinet and doesn’t seek independence,” he said. Bosman said it was unacceptable that certain politicians in Curaçao called for independence and behaved as if they were already independent, but that no real steps were taken when the main proponent won the elections. He said that as long as Curaçao was still part of the Kingdom, it had to live up to agreements that have been made.
MP Wassila Hachchi of the democratic D66 party was a bit more moderate and said that one could not say that everyone in Curaçao wants to become independent justbecause the biggest vote getter is aspiring to this. She pointed out that other parties like MFK, PAR and PAIS were immediately behind
PS with respectively five, four and four seats. Hachchi further pointed out that every country, whether it was independent or not, had to be ruled according
to the principles of a constitutional state. As long as Curaçao is not independent, it will have to comply with the margins and rules of the Kingdom, she said. Hachchi said shefound it important that democratic institutions on the island like the Governor, the Court of Justice and the Public Prosecutor’s Office function properly.
Dutch caretaker Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies said over the weekend that the election process and results have shown
that the people of Curaçao are “greatly divided.” She said the new cabinet awaited a “heavy task,” not only because the people were divided, but also due to the
large financial and economic problems.
The outcome of the elections and the financial situation in Curaçao will be the main topic in the debate with Minister Spies this Wednesday and Thursday
when the Second Chamber handles the draft 2013 budget of Kingdom Relations.

(Suzanne Koelega)

Source: The Daily Herald October 22, 2012

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