Non-Dutch may get voting rights in island council elections 2015

POSTED: 10/9/14 9:10 PM

THE HAGUE – Non-Dutch citizens will probably be able to vote and to be elected in the island council elections in Caribbean Netherlands in the spring of 2015, Jamila Baaziz reports on Caribisch Netwerk. The Second Chamber votes next week Tuesday about an amendment to the Electoral Law that must make this possible.

At the end of September, a vote about the amendment seemed to be still far off, because the same law also makes that non-Dutch lose their right to vote after 2019. This is because the law also mentions that non-Dutch lose their voting right again, when the island council is going to vote for the makeup of the First Chamber – the Dutch Senate. Most parties are dead against this, because they do not want non-Dutch to have influence on the composition of the First and the Second Chamber.

At the insistence of D66, SP and Christian Union – and with support of the VVD – Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home affairs had to promise during the first part of the debate at the end of September that he would research the possibilities for an electoral board that must offer a solution for the problem of voting rights in Caribbean Netherlands.

Several days after this debate it appeared that the Parliament cannot wait for the outcome of Plasterk’s research. Otherwise, non-Dutch cannot be elected during the island council elections in the spring of 2015.

In order not to endanger the voting right of this group – 1,121 people according to Plasterk – in the short term, the critical parties hope now that the research into an electoral board offers sufficient possibilities for a long-term solution.

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