Wednesday , November 29 2023

Saba, Statia each get an Electoral College

Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will each get their own Electoral College with its own candidate members, who will be elected by island residents with the Dutch nationality. That is stated in the Explanatory Note accompanying the draft law (“novelle”) which proposes to stipulate in the Dutch Constitution that the members of the Caribbean Netherlands Electoral Colleges (“Kiescolleges”) will co-elect the members of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, writes The Daily Herald.
The Dutch Government has opted to install a separate Electoral College for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba: an independent nomination and voting per public entity for an Electoral College for the First Chamber, it was stated in the Explanatory Note which was published online on Wednesday. “This fits the way in which members of the Island Councils are elected and prevents that political groups in the Caribbean Netherlands, which differ per island, have to cooperate to get a real chance at having their candidates elected,” it was stated.
Also, the choice of having one Electoral College per island has as an advantage that the members of the different Electoral Colleges don’t have to physically gather for the voting on the candidates for the First Chamber.
Dutch nationals in the Caribbean Netherlands will directly elect the members of the Electoral College on their island, just as in the Netherlands where the members of the Provincial States, whom in turn elect the members of the First Chamber, are directly elected by the Dutch voters.
The elections of the Electoral Colleges for the members of the First Chamber will be held by secret ballot. The Electoral Colleges are elected for a period of four years with as their sole purpose the election of the members of the Senate. The concrete design of the Electoral Colleges still has to be worked out in a next law, which will be included in the second reading of the amendment to the Constitution. Changing the Constitution requires two readings and the approval of two consecutive Parliaments. This process takes several years. Nonetheless, the Dutch Government is aiming to have the voting rights of Dutch nationals on the islands for the Senate secured at the next elections, which are slated for 2019. Foreign residents will maintain the right to vote in the Island Council elections.
The law proposal, along with related documents, was published on www.internetconsultatie. nl to enable the public to respond to the law proposal. The end date of the consultation has been set for July 15, 2015. “It is of great importance for the government to enable Dutch citizens of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to exercise their influence on the composition of the First Chamber.” The law proposal, signed by Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Mark Rutte and Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, was sent to the Executive Councils on Tuesday, as well as to the Electoral Council for their input.

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  1. Wise decision. It was a long way to convince them to do this so all non Dutch nationals can still vote on their islands for the island council. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  2. Johnny English

    It does however bring a complete nonsense election that probably nobody will attempt. I do wonder why we don’t allow foreigners to vote for the Senate. It’s not like the Senate actually produces any new policies…