August 06, 2012 8:53 PM
WILLEMSTAD--The opposition fractions in Curaçao's parliament are considering a motion of no confidence against members of the MFK/PS/MAN government in today's first public meeting following the summer recess, despite the fact that the Schotte cabinet has already resigned and currently has only a caretaker status.
PNP-leader Humphrey Davelaar said that with all that's happened in recent months the outgoing Council of Ministers cannot be allowed to stay in office until the new legislature to be elected on October 19 is installed on November 2. The idea is to send at least a few outgoing cabinet members home from now.
The plan is apparently backed by 12 of the 21 seats – eight from PAR, one each from PNP and FOL, and the two new independent members Eugene Cleopa (ex-MAN) and Dean Rozier (ex-MFK).
"They have been in power 22 months and caused great damage to society. They simply no longer enjoy Parliament's confidence," explained Davelaar.
He said if the motions are passed they will be sent to Governor Frits Goedgedrag, who must then execute them. The idea is to appoint an interim government instead.
It would not be the first time in the Dutch Kingdom that members of a caretaker cabinet are forced to step down immediately by Parliament. It happened in The Netherlands in 1994 with Ernst Hirsch-Ballin and Ed van Thijn.
In 2006 a motion of no-confidence had also been passed against outgoing Dutch Minister Rita Verdonk. She was allowed to stay on for the remaining term in office, but her portfolio had been reduced.
The lack of a majority led to the collapse of the first cabinet of country Curaçao installed on 10-10'10, when the constitutional changes took effect. The coalition of MFK, PS and MAN was formed after the elections of August 27, 2010.
Although PAR was the largest party with eight seats in the last Island Council of Curaçao that later became the first Parliament of Curaçao, the yellow party was relegated to the opposition benches together with FOL and PNP.
MFK with five seats, PS with four and MAN with two thus formed a government backed by a minimal majority of eleven of the twenty-one parliamentarians. Eventually, the coalition stayed in power less than two years.
The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte (MFK) had ambitious plans regarding fiscal reforms, reorganisation of the public health sector and the pension system, implementation of alternative energy sources, introduction of free education and overthrowing the existing power order.
However, these plans never materialised. The large number of changes in the cabinet was also notable. Especially the PS had replaced several ministers: Norman Girigorie, René Rosalia, Lia Willems-Martina and Lionel Jansen had come and gone.
Apart from the frequency of new faces, the Schotte-cabinet was characterised by numerous conflicts, with directors of government-owned companies, social partners, pressure groups and other Kingdom partners.
The country's financial problems, the instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to balance the budget and the internal problems within the coalition eventually brought the cabinet down.
Doubts over the integrity of cabinet members including Schotte and Ministers Charles Cooper, George Jamaloodin, Abdul Nasser El Hakim and Jacinta Scoop-Constancia, plagued the coalition throughout its period in government. There were also issues surrounding the Curaçao Intelligence Service VDC, which eventually led to this agency being placed under legal restraint.