Sunday , October 1 2023

Electoral Colleges proposal is ready

The adapted law proposal to introduce Electoral Colleges (Kiescolleges) for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba has been prepared. It was sent to the three islands for consultation on Tuesday. Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on Tuesday, informed the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament that the adapted law proposal was sent to the Executive Councils for consultation.
The adapted law proposal was also sent to the Electoral Council (Kiesraad) for advice. Furthermore, the law proposal will be published on the Website: shortly to enable the public to take notice of it and to react.
Plasterk promised the Dutch Parliament in March 2015, that he would prepare an adapted law proposal, a so-called “novelle” in Dutch, before the summer to secure the voting rights of Dutch nationals living in the Caribbean Netherlands for the First Chamber, the Senate, through the Electoral Colleges. Residents of the three islands with the Dutch nationality would cast their vote for the members of the Electoral Colleges whom in turn would co-elect the members of the First Chamber.
Foreign residents will not have voting rights for the Electoral Colleges and as such they will not have any influence on the composition of the Senate.
Most likely, the islands will get separate Electoral Colleges, possibly with a combined Electoral College for St. Eustatius and Saba for practical and cost-effective purposes. Establishing one central Electoral College for all three islands was not deemed ideal due to the geographical distance between Bonaire and St. Eustatius, Saba, and the fact that the political systems between the islands were different.
The Electoral College(s) have to be created by amending the Dutch Constitution. An adapted law proposal is needed since the Second Chamber in October 2014, approved the law proposal to adapt the Constitution in order to secure the voting rights of (all) residents of the Caribbean Netherlands and to adopt the special public entity status of the three islands. The First Chamber decided in February 2015, to defer the handling of the law proposal to regulate the voting rights on the islands until Minister Plasterk and the Second Chamber had looked at the possibilities of an Electoral College for the Caribbean Netherlands.
An approved “novelle” will allow the Senate to continue the handling of the law proposal to regulate the voting rights in the Caribbean Netherlands. A vast majority in the Second Chamber was in favour of establishing the Electoral College(s) for the Caribbean Netherlands. The liberal democratic VVD party, the Labour Party PvdA, the Socialist Party (SP), the Democratic Party D66 and the Christian Union have already expressed their support, reports The Daily Herald.

Colouring, reading event for Old Age Home clients
Two decorated during King's Day celebrations