Published On: Mon, Aug 15th, 2016

New ‘yes’ or ‘no’ referendum in Curaçao could have impact for Sint Maarten

Curacao votesA group in Curaçao is calling for a new constitutional referendum. They say the Transparency International (TI) report shows public funds were misused to promote the “Yes” answer in 2009 regarding the negotiated content of an earlier majority choice to become an autonomous country within the Dutch kingdom.

Because of this and the narrow defeat of the “No” option, a new referendum is supposedly justified. The latter could also have an impact for St. Maarten, which is in a monetary union with Curaçao and shares a Central Bank, the Antillean guilder as national currency plus the Attorney-General.

If it indeed can be proven that government tried to unduly influence the outcome, the initiators obviously have a point. However, one has to wonder what purpose a repeat would serve.

After all, asking the same question and offering only a positive or negative reply seems to make little sense at this stage. Should “No” be the winning result under those circumstances it means entirely new negotiations on the status that went into effect per 10-10-10 with the other kingdom partners.

Certainly the Netherlands will not be eager to entertain any major changes in what was agreed on before. It stands to reason that the only acceptable alternative The Hague would gladly discuss is the island’s full political independence.

If that’s what those collecting signatures and organising demonstrations for yet another population consultation have in mind they ought to say so and make it the topic of their proposed referendum, by asking whether the people want to get out of the kingdom altogether, losing their Dutch and consequently European passport in the process. Tell it like it is.

Source: The Daily Herald

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