Dutch Second Chamber debate on Curaçao and St. Maarten Govts' status

THE HAGUE--A debate will take place shortly in the Dutch Second Chamber on the status of the governments of Curaçao and St. Maarten and the guarantee function of the Kingdom.

Member of Parliament (MP) Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) is the initiative-taker of this special debate. He is concerned about the integrity of the governments in Curaçao and St. Maarten.

Van Raak made his proposal on Tuesday. He received broad support from the rest of Parliament. All parties are worried about the administrative capacity of the new countries. "We are a few months into the new status and there are big problems with the governments in Curaçao and St. Maarten," Van Raak said.

Initially Van Raak wanted to request an urgent meeting in response to Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner's letter on the results of the screening of members of Gerrit Schotte's cabinet in Curaçao.

As speakers' times are very limited in an urgent debate, Van Raak decided to adapt his request. "I want us to have a large debate and have a broader discussion on issues such as integrity and capacity. We should not talk only about Curaçao, but also St. Maarten, because a few things have happened there as well," he said.

Parliament unanimously agreed that the guarantee function of the Kingdom Government should be the theme of the debate. "The Kingdom is responsible for good governance, so, as the Dutch Parliament, we are directly involved. Too many things are now unclear on this guarantee function," said Van Raak.

According to Van Raak, the past few months have shown that "some issues have not been properly arranged" since the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles and the launching of the new countries per October 10, 2010.

"Who is responsible? When do you intervene? And how do you go about that? I have posed questions earlier, but I didn't get a response. It is about time that this happens," said Van Raak.

A date has not been set for the debate as yet..

26 January 2011

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