Published On: Tue, May 10th, 2016

Motion adopted in Parliament on convicted MPs

ParliamentWILLEMSTAD - The government of Curaçao should take the necessary legal steps to ensure that Members of Parliament who have been convicted of a crime will be immediately suspended in the future, until the court ruling has become final.

Parliament must also receive the status of the case within three months of the conviction. This is according to the motion adopted by Parliament yesterday morning in a Public Meeting.

All fifteen MPs present voted in favor of the motion. Melvin Cijntje, MP for the coalition party Pueblo Soberano and the opposition party MFK were not present.

The MFK faction indicated before that they don’t think it’s right to debate about the position of their leader, Gerrit Schotte while there isn’t even a final ruling in his case. Schotte was convicted, but according to his party, he appealed and that is a completely new ball game. “He’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Leader of the coalition party PAR, Zita Jesus-Leito said that the integrity of Parliament has been tarnished. “The people of Curaçao do not have confidence in our politicians anymore. We have to do something to gain that confidence again,” said Jesus-Leito.

Even long time MFK partner, the opposition party MAN, voted in favor of the motion opening the way for the government to take actions against convicted MPs. According to Independent MP Glenn Sulvaran, this could mean that the MAN has sent a clear message that they will not work with the MFK in a future coalition.

Schotte was convicted in March this year in the case dubbed Babel. The former Prime Minister who made history as the first head of government of the new country Curaçao was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of deprivation of electoral rights by the Court of First Instance. The charges against Schotte included fraud, corruption and money laundering. He has appealed the ruling.

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