July 30, 2012 3:59 PM
WILLEMSTAD - Eugene Cleopa will continue as independent member of the Parliament. Although he will break with the MAN, he will remain a member of the blue party. Cleopa said he had observed the MAN’s election program, the articles of association and the rules.
Therefore, he doesn’t see why he should return his seat to the party.Cleopa sent a letter to both Governor Frits Goedgedrag, Chairman of the Parliament Ivar Asjes (PS) and Premier/MFK-leader Gerrit Schotte yesterday, indicating he no longer supports the coalition of MFK, PS and MAN. Cleopa stated he always adhered to the coalition program Pa un Kòrsou Soberano, Solidario i Sostenibel (For a sovereign, solidary and permanent Curaçao). After one year and eight months, he concludes that the government continuously acts contrary to the coalition program. “Ministers and parties act contrary to the program, both as regards form and contents.”
In his letter to the board, Cleopa listed nine points of criticism on the government since its installation on 10-10-’10. “We were to pursue a policy that was sovereign, solidary and permanent. We’ve noticed nothing of this in practice. The new policy of Premier Schotte will lead to dismissals at Aqualectra. That is not solidary. I drew Minister Charles Cooper’s attention to this but he pointed out that new technologies involve dismissals. The intention was to retrain the Aqualectra-personnel so the latter could implement alternative energy projects of the company. However, according to the current plans, Aqualectra-personnel will not be implementing these alternative projects.”
Cleopa emphasized that the MAN, and their coalition partners, indicated they advocate the emancipation of the Curaçao people. He pointed out that due to the financial policy and the government’s behavior, Curaçao already received an instruction and perhaps will soon be confronted with an Order in National Council. “This will really frustrate the emancipation process of the island.”
He also pointed out that many companies had to close down the past months. “Not a single entrepreneur will close down his/her company for strategic reasons or to injure the government. Although we’re also facing a financial crisis, hundreds of thousands of guilders are paid per month to friendly consultants in the government apparatus. We want to introduce free education but how are we going to finance this? The minister stated he would get 17 million guilders from his ministry but if the financing isn’t obtained from the education salaries, then it’ll be at the expense of the quality of education. The MAN never advocated that.”
Integrity of ministers
The independent parliamentarian also criticized the integrity of the ministers of the Schotte-cabinet. “Schotte constantly contradicts himself. Minister of Justice Elmer Wilsoe (PS) caused the island much damage by interfering in the Bientu-case. He said he hadn’t done anything illegal, but why did he interfere?” Cleopa also pointed out the alarming increase of crime. “And yet, we continue to say that our behavior and vocabulary don’t contribute to the increase of crime on Curaçao.”
Much can also be said about the social situation, said Cleopa. “The latter is deteriorating. The government announces a new basic medical insurance but in first instance doesn’t fancy a dialogue with the people, as I already indicated months ago, but wants to impose such on the people. The same is happening with the adjustment of the pensions.” He is also worried about the proposition of various ministers with regard to the local unions. “How is it possible that not one but several ministers say the unions are not their discussion partners? This contravenes everything the MAN advocated since their foundation.”
‘Cooper wants to stay in the government’
Cleopa discussed all these points with political leader Charles Cooper. “On all points he admitted that I was right, but he said I was first to give him two months. In two months he would have ‘dealt with’ Helmin Wiels. When I asked him what would happen if Wiels ‘dealt with’ him in two months, Cooper said he didn’t think this would happen.” According to Cleopa, Cooper’s conduct proves that the MAN-leader will do anything to stay in the government.
MAN-leader Charles Cooper called Eugene Cleopa a ‘thief’ yesterday after indicating not to return his seat to the party. According to Cooper, the seat doesn’t belong to Cleopa. It belongs to the MAN because this party ‘polled over 300 votes’ with the last elections in 2010.
Cleopa said he wouldn’t accept being called a ‘thief’. As parliamentarian I should act according to my conscience and observe the Constitution of the country Curaçao. I haven’t violated the latter and I needn’t return my seat. Perhaps he doesn’t realize what it means to be called a thief, because Wiels had called him a thief several times and he never reacted.”
Cleopa also pointed out that as number 4 with the last elections he polled 336 votes in total, which was four more than Charles Cooper, who was number two on the MAN’s list of candidates.