Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012

Two years Curacao autonomous within the Dutch Kingdom

WILLEMSTAD -  On October 10, 2012 marks the two year anniversary of Curacao as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Before October 10, 2010 Curacao was part of the Netherlands Antilles which consisted of 5 islands namely Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Before 1986 Aruba was also part of the Netherlands Antilles.

After the 1993 referendum failed to show support for a separate status for Curaçao, the government of the Netherlands Antilles tried to restructure the Netherlands Antilles and attempted to forge closer ties between the islands, as is exemplified by the adoption of an anthem of the Netherlands Antilles in 2000. A new referendum on Sint Maarten, which was in favor of a separate status for Sint Maarten as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, sparked a new series of referendums across the Netherlands Antilles, however. Curaçao was the last island to vote.

status referendum was held on the island of Curaçao on 8 April 2005. The option of becoming an autonomous area within the Kingdom of the Netherlands was approved by 68% of voters.

Choice Votes %
Autonomous area within the Kingdom of the Netherlands 42,425 68.82
Integration into the Netherlands 14,769 23.61
Independence 3.014 4.81
Remain part of the Netherlands Antilles 2,324 3.74
Invalid/blank votes 474 -
Total 63,024 100
Registered voters/turnout 114,500 55.04

This was a clear mandate to the government about the choice of the majority. The government started then with negotiations and the process to achieve the autonomous status of Curacao.

status referendum was held in Curaçao on 15 May 2009. The referendum was on whether to accept the proposed agreement on becoming an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands as part of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. It was approved by 51.99% of voters.

Choice Votes %
For 41,433 51.99
Against 38,261 48.01
Invalid/blank votes 26 -
Total 79,720 100
Registered voters/turnout 118,827 67.09

It took more than a year to finish the negotiations and to finally get the status people voted for.

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