September 26, 2012 6:54 AM
WILLEMSTAD--Curaçao's outgoing Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte regrets that Governor Frits Goedgedrag has involved himself in politics by agreeing to install an interim cabinet even though the MFK/PS/MAN government already has resigned, Parliament is being dissolved and early elections have been called for October 19.
The Council of Ministers will meet today on the governor's decision to task Dito Mendes de Gouveia with the formation talks. However, Goedgedrag clearly stated in a letter to Parliament that the motions of no-confidence passed against members of the Schotte cabinet by the "new majority" of 11 seats in the 21-seat legislature must be considered legitimate despite procedural issues.
The latter means that ministers, also those with caretaker status, need to have the confidence of the majority in Parliament and to step down when such is no longer the case. That Parliament is being dissolved does not affect its authority in this regard, until the new legislature to be elected takes office on November 2.
The governor pointed out that normally such political battles are fought out in Parliament, but because no public meetings were being called anymore by chairman Ivar Asjes (PS) and vice-chairman Amerigo Thode (MFK), the gatherings called by the majority comprising the PAR, PNP and FOL fractions plus independent (former MAN) member Eugene Cleopa on their own and the decisions taken there needed to be taken into account.
Asked whether he would resign, Schotte said he already had and one could not have the same divorce twice. He also said that to Goedgedrag when the two spoke after the governor had sent out his letters.
The young prime minister maintains that is no urgent reason whatsoever to replace the current Council of Ministers – which is attending running matters until after the elections when a new government is to take over – with an interim cabinet, especially one that will be in office little more than a month.
PAR leader Emily de Jongh-Elhage is happy with the governor's decision, because majority rule on the island has been re-established. "Democracy has been saved and calm restored," she added.
FOL leader Anthony Godett, whom the "group of 11" had chosen as vice-chairman of Parliament, said he had not seen any moving vans in Fort Amsterdam yet. "I advise them to clear up their stuff and get ready to leave, because their days are numbered."
PS leader Helmin Wiels said the people would take care of Goedgedrag and The Netherlands. "The Hague cannot rule Curaçao. If we accept this it will get ugly after the elections."
He then directly addressed the governor: "Come on then; if you want us out, you'll have to get us out."
Wiels said three governors had been forced to run in the past because they had taken wrong decisions. "This will end in a big scandal for the Dutch Government," he added, stating that he planned to take the matter to the international level.