The Daily Herald writes today that there will be no new constitutional referendum in Bonaire for now, at least not on December 10 as proposed by the opposition parties and also not before the Island Council election of March 2015.
A motion presented by the PDB and MLB fractions was rejected by theUPB/Santana coalition. It had called for the establishment of a committee within a week to organise the population consultation on December 10 with as three options independence, free association or integration.
The majority did not consider a referendum at this time opportune in light of next year’s vote. Despite efforts to then pin the Executive Council to a later date, no such commitment was made. “We are of the opinion that we cannot confuse the people. A referendum is a serious matter, especially on the right of self-determination,” argued UPB-fraction leader Jeffrey Levenstone. “The public needs to be well-informed and if this is mixed with a political campaign that won’t be the case. We’ve said from the beginning that it should be held only after the elections and the mid-2015 evaluation of the island’s current status.
Independent (former PHU) Island Councilman Rafael Santana voted along with his coalition partner UPB, despite earlier indications he might go the other way. He said he had offered the possibility to consult all sectors about the issue but it was decided to only hear politicians during a recent gathering on the topic coordinated by Norbert “Nòchi” Willem, “so I cannot agree to hold one before the elections.”