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Editorial The Daily Herald on Curacao election results

Granted, the reaction of politicians in The Hague to the election result in Curaçao is a bit premature. One of the Second Chamber members even intends to submit a motion calling for a referendum on the island.

The reality is that while pro-independence “Pueblo Soberano” (PS) became the largest party, it captured only 22.6 per cent of the vote; not even close to a majority. The other former and again probable prospective coalition partners MFK (21.1 per cent) and MAN (9.5 per cent) did not campaign for independence and have not promoted such actively.

However, the comments coming from The Netherlands proved useful in that they may have helped prompt PS leader Helmin Wiels to clarify in today’s paper that it would take 10 years for the autonomous country within the Kingdom to become fully independent and the economy must be strengthened fi rst. Still, it is the final goal of the biggest vote-getter and no doubt will be mentioned in the governing accord of any PS-led government.

A lot of water will have to pass under the pontoon bridge spanning the harbour of Willemstad before it reaches the point that independence is declared, however, especially because the average citizen is attached to his or her Dutch passport, regardless of political preference. In addition, the up-and-coming party PAIS which went from 0 to 4 seats in two years already has said it will not cooperate with any change in the current constitutional status without a two-thirds majority in a referendum.

Also interesting was Wiels’ comment that the new screening law is in place and will have to be complied with, which is likely to be a problem for MFK leader Gerrit Schotte and other former cabinet members of his party. When one adds the fact that Schotte would prefer to return as prime minister even though PS is the largest party and Wiels the biggest vote-getter, it seems the formation process might not be as simple, straightforward and predictable as many expect.

The Daily Herald, October 23, 2012

Opinion: Interview with Helmin Wiels