Schotte denies impasse

POSTED: 09/18/12 12:37 PM

WILLEMSTAD – There is no impasse between the Council of Ministers and the majority in the parliament, outgoing Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte told the Antilliaans Dagblad over the weekend.
Governor Frits Goedgedrag refers in his August 28 letter to the Group of Twelve to the impasse that exists according to the Prime Minister between the two parties. But Schotte denies this. “As I have said before, in my opinion such an impasse is not occurring.”
Schotte said that the impasse the governor refers to plays first and foremost in the parliament. He furthermore referred to the unconstitutionality of the decisions 11 of the 21 MPs took. The twelfth member of the group, Dean Rozier, is still off-island.
Schotte maintained that the decisions – the motions of no-confidence against all but two of the ministers in his cabinet – took place “outside of a meeting of parliament.” The eleven MPs were forced to hold their meeting at the Plaza Hotel after they were denied access to the meeting hall of parliament.
Schotte assumes, according to the Antilliaans Dagblad, that Governor Goedgedrag “will be able to agree with my decision not to propose to the Council of Ministers or individual ministers in my cabinet to agree with any consequence that could potentially be linked to the decisions the eleven MPs submitted to you.”
Schotte added to this line: “While the cabinet respects the message behind it.”
What Schotte means with this remark, the newspaper wrote yesterday, is unclear: “The message of the motions of no confidence is understood and even respected, but not listened to or acted upon.”
The Prime Minister maintains that the objective the majority in parliament has in mind with the motions – to send the cabinet home – has already been achieved by offering the resignation of all ministers and calling elections for October 19.
Schotte’s statements indicate his determination to stay in Fortì until the new parliamentarians have taken their seats and there is a new government on November 2.
That date is a possibility, but it could also take months, depending on how long the formation of a new government will take. “All that time there is an outgoing government that received a motion of no-confidence from a parliamentary majority,” the newspaper notes sourly.
Schotte ends the letter he sent on Friday to the governor with his message about “the undesirability of the formation of an interim-cabinet for the very short period that remains until the elections.”
PAR-leader Emily de Jongh-Elhage, who spoke on Saturday morning with Governor Goedgedrag, said that she had come away from the meeting with a clear message: “The majority must be respected.”
De Jongh-Elhage said that she told the governor that the majority no longer has confidence in the government. “That message came across,” she said. “The next move is up to the governor.”

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