Schotte could block interim-cabinet: “Elections the only solution” – Governor starts consultations with faction-leaders Curacao

POSTED: 09/17/12 1:37 PM

WILLEMSTAD – Smoke and mirrors still dominate the political landscape in Curacao after the new majority passed motions of no confidence against all but two ministers of the outgoing Schotte-cabinet, where Governor Frits Goedgedrag has started consultations with politicians about the formation of a possible interim cabinet and where outgoing Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte said in a national address that was broadcast on radio and television that elections are the only way out of the current crisis.
In The Hague, politicians are following the developments in Willemstad in a state of utter bewilderment, though outgoing Kingdom Relations Minister Liesbeth Spies made clear that the Dutch government will not intervene.
“The Dutch government will and must leave the political situation in the hands of the body politic in Curacao. Every normal human being would be concerned about what is going on there right now, so I am also gravely concerned,” the minister said on Friday after Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting.
“We have discussed the situation extensively,” Spies aid, ‘but there is not much we are able to do about it. But if there is a country in the Kingdom where this kind of situation occurs it is very serious based on democratic standards. The Kingdom Council of Ministers is not able to intervene, but we are one Kingdom and we feel involved. This is why we have expressed our concerns towards Curacao.”
Spies said that is were “bizarre” that there are now two parliaments of which one is recognized by the government, “in as far as this is the government’s concern.”
The minister said it is unimaginable that the parliament of Curacao wants to take responsibility for the not functioning of the democracy. “The parliament will have to drag itself out of the morass.”
Spies was highly critical of ousted parliament President Ivar Asjes. “The longest sitting president of parliament permits himself an awful lot by not allowing a debate about the political situation. The Schotte-cabinet fell on August 3 and up to now there has been no political debate about it. I am unable to imagine – no matter of which political party you are and in which country you live – that you dare to take responsibility for that as a parliament.”
Asjes reacted as if stung by a bee to the minister’s remarks. He posted the following statement on Facebook: “Apparently outgoing Minister Spies has not recovered yet from the CDA’s large election defeat. She speaks about so-called dictatorial behavior by the president of parliament, but she remains silent about the fact that in Caribbean Netherlands – that is to say in Bonaire, there is a commissioner who has been charged by justice for committing fraud. Where are the questions in the Dutch parliament about this? Is this commissioner simply allowed to stay or is Mrs. Spies going to restore order in her country? Mrs. Spies, there is work to be done.”
Spies said that she maintains close contacts with Governor Frits Goedgedrag. “I can imagine that this leads to a lot of concerns among the population and that it instills little confidence in the October 19 elections. It should happen to you that you are confronted with a parliament that lowers itself to these kinds of things and seems to be incapable to even hold a decent meeting together. Parliaments have to do what they are meant for and that is serving the interests of the people.”
Spies said that the current situation should not be allowed to continue until the October elections. But asked which one is the real parliament at the moment, the minister became evasive: “Let’s leave the answer to that question to the parliament, or actually the parliaments, in Curacao.”
On Friday, Governor Frits Goedgedrag started consultations with all faction leaders in the currently split parliament of Curacao. FOL-leader Anthony Godett, recently elected as the parliament’s Vice-President by the new majority, was the first one the governor received.
Godett told the Antilliaans Dagblad that he had been received “as the vice president of parliament, as a member of parliament and as the leader of his FOL-party.”
Godett handed the governor the nine motions of no-confidence against ministers in the Schotte-cabinet, as well as other official documents. Among them was a request to appoint an informateur who would be charged with the formation of an interim-cabinet.
The governor indicated earlier last week that the parliament has to come up with its own solution. “Actions by the Governor as Kingdom institution are not opportune. In the interest of Curacao and her young democratic history it is desirable to come up with all possible solutions on a national level,” Goedgedrag wrote in a letter to MPs.
But according to Godett the next move is up to the governor. “We have done our job and all we are able to do now is wait. The decision by a majority in parliament has been taken. The governor has to act based on that. I have no doubt that this will indeed happen.”
The new majority followed the governors advice that he gave in his letter: “If a majority in the parliament is of the opinion that the majority of the outgoing ministers of the current cabinet have to quit immediately it is up to that majority to take a formal decision by passing motions of no-confidence against individual ministers that show that those outgoing ministers no longer have the support of the majority in the parliament.”
Outgoing Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte said in his national address that the consultations with the governor will not lead to an interim-cabinet because he will not cooperate with such a solution. Schotte said that he had acknowledged that his cabinet had lost its majority already on August 3 and that he had therefore dissolved the parliament and called for new elections.
The Amigoe reported that Schotte has to sign a national decree to confirm the dismissal of ministers in his cabinet. His cooperation is not needed to appoint a new Prime Minister. But Schotte would have to cooperate with the screening of members for a new cabinet. While Schotte could therefore block the establishment of an interim-cabinet, observers in Willemstad note that the governor could probably use an obscure provision to get around this obstacle.

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Schotte could block interim-cabinet: “Elections the only solution” - Governor starts consultations with faction-leaders Curacao by

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