The Daily Herald reports that a motion tabled by Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Sietse Fritsma of the Party for Freedom PVV to immediately dismiss National Government Representative (“Rijksvertegenwoordiger”) for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, Gilbert Isabella, was voted down on Tuesday.
Fritsma tabled his motion to revoke Isabella’s appointment at once during the handling of the draft 2015 Kingdom Relations budget last Wednesday. In the motion, he referred to the National Government Representative as a “cheat” of the Dutch Labour Party PvdA. According to Fritsma, the Curaçao-born Isabella doesn’t fit the profile for the position as this person has to be a person of integrity and good character. The Member of Parliament (MP) accused Isabella of having committed “irregularities” during his tenure as Alderman of the city Utrecht.
Fritsma mentioned Isabella’s performance in the case of a criminal Roma family in Utrecht and a critical report on the construction of a theatre in the same city. “Everybody agrees that this man malfunctioned as Alderman,” he said during
Wednesday’s debate. Yet, Fritsma pointed out, Isabella was the first and unanimous choice of the three-member selection committee which included a prominent PvdA member, Gerdi Verbeet, former President of the Second Chamber.
The MP said that Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk “kept the wrong culture of wasting money, corruption and nepotism surrounding the former Antilles alive” through Isabella’s appointment. “The Minister allowed this worst kind of nepotism to take place, as a result of which a completely malfunctioning National Government Representative [Wilbert Stolte -Ed.] was succeeded by a new controversial cheat. This is unacceptable and as such I call
on the Minister to revoke this crazy appointment as soon as possible,” stated Fritsma.
Minister Plasterk stated in his reply during the same debate later in the evening that he had decided beforehand to go along with a unanimous selection of the committee, unless there were pressing reasons not to do so. He said he considered the candidate, Isabella, “perfectly suitable.” He said it seemed that the islands were also positive about the new National Government Representative.
The Minister rejected Fritsma’s suggestion of nepotism. He said that the Second Chamber was well aware of committee’s composition before the actual selection process. He said he also considered it “unpleasant” to be talking about a third person in this manner in Parliament.
The Second Chamber didn’t support Fritsma’s motion when it came to voting on Tuesday. Only the PVV and the Bontes/Van Klaveren group supported it. The same two parties supported a second motion of Fritsma to get rid of the Dutch Caribbean, which was, by far, insufficient for it to be carried by Parliament.
A majority of Parliament did support a motion of Gert-Jan Segers of the ChristianUnion (CU) and Wassila Hachchi of the Democratic Party D66 calling on the Dutch Government to engage in “active consultation” with the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in case of law proposals.
The law regulating the three islands, the WolBES prescribes that the Dutch Government has to give the islands the opportunity to give their view on law proposals and other proposals. This consultation takes place formally, but the islands didn’t always respond in terms of content.