Published On: Wed, Oct 5th, 2016

Both Curaçao and Sint Maarten have declined election observer offer

ronald-plasterkWILLEMSTAD, PHILLIPSBURG - Neither St. Maarten nor Curaçao has made use of the Dutch Government’s offer to have international, independent observers present at their elections.

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk stated in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament that Curaçao and St. Maarten had been informed that they could make use of Dutch assistance if they desired to do so. St. Maarten had elections Monday, September 26, while elections take place in Curaçao today, Wednesday.

“Both countries were made aware of the possibility to invite international election observers, but it is up to the countries themselves to decide whether to make use of this. However, it should be concluded that no use was made of this offer,” stated Plasterk in his letter which was published on Tuesday.

The letter was in response to a request of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations and verbal questions by Member of Parliament (MP) André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party on September 27. The Committee and Bosman had asked about having observers present to ensure a fair election process.

Plasterk clarified that the organizing of elections primarily concerned an autonomous affair of the countries Curaçao and St. Maarten. Having international observers present is possible if the countries so desire.

Observation by independent international entities always takes place on the invitation of the country where the election takes place, the Minister explained. “The Netherlands cannot request an observer’s mission for the elections of Curaçao and St. Maarten based on the Dutch Electoral Law.”

Describing the role of the observer, Plasterk noted that the observer monitors the election process and judges the legality of the election results. “Not the results of the elections, but the process of the elections is of importance,” he said. The observer monitors the process of the execution of the Electoral Law and the election before, during and immediately after Election Day.

The Daily Herald

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