Opinion: Clean and smart

POSTED: 10/26/12 12:54 PM

Politics is the weirdest sport in the world after professional cycling of course. Witness the signing of an agreement between three political parties in Curacao that are ready to form the second government in the country’s young and tumultuous history.
The familiar parties in power are at the occasion: Pueblo Soberano (PS), Movementu Futuro Korsou (MFK) and MAN (until 2005: Movementu Antia Nobo –New Antilles Movement). The party leaders are there as well: Helmin Wiels, Gerrit Schotte and Charles Cooper.
But something has changed. Schotte is not longer the man holding the most political power on the island. That man is now Helmin Wiels.
A lot has been said about Wiels, also by this newspaper, but the stories that are emerging now from most respectable sources are like this: we believe that Wiels is clean. Makes sense: Wiels stands firmly behind the screening law and that is not something one would expect from a politician with uncomfortable skeletons in his closet.
Apart from clean, Wiels is also smart, because even though he won the elections and even though nobody would put a horse’s hair in his way if he wanted to become prime minister, he remains in parliament. His front man Ivar Asjes will become the ceremonial grandmaster of Curacao – that is to say, if he gets through the screening process.
Someone who will not have to go through this process is Gerrit Schotte. The MFK-leader and first prime minister of Curacao either got his marching orders from Helmin Wiels or he simply got the message that he is no longer an asset in a new cabinet.
Whatever the truth is – we will learn that sooner or later – Schotte will not return in a new cabinet. Instead he will become the new president of parliament, a function where he will do less damage to the country’s reputation and where he will be kept busy with regulating the parliament’s agenda.
With this solution the screening process apparently is no longer a problem for the MFK. Earlier the party had balked at the idea of having to live with a piece of legislation that has been pushed through parliament by the Group of Twelve that in the meantime unceremoniously has disintegrated.
Dean Rozier, the man who cause the fall of Schotte’s government, has announced that he is leaving the country and Emily de Jongh-Elhage’s Par has been slaughtered in the elections.
Schotte must have felt that a real screening would give him a failing grade. Instead of taking that risk, he apparently prefers a different kind of humiliation and accepts a demotion to the function the new prime minister vacated much to his chagrin after Governor Goedgedrag installed Stanley Betrian’s the interim-cabinet.
Many people in Curacao are no longer wondering about the government they will get, but about what this government will do, and what this will mean for there well being, their prosperity their future and the future of their children. In that sense winners and losers are still holding their breath, though one misinterpretation of the election result is already clear and that is that Wiels would want to rush towards independence. His first sensible remark was that this could take ten years.
That sounds about right, but before that clock starts ticking, Wiels will have to call a referendum and ask the people what they really want. And it is not at all certain that the Pueblo Soberano-leader will win a majority in such a contest.

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