Curaçao government offers its resignation
WILLEMSTAD – The Prime Minister of Curaçao, Dr. Ben Whiteman has tendered his resignation to the Governor in Willemstad. Friday his four-party coalition lost the majority in parliament. Whiteman was only Prime Minister for a month.
Whiteman’s coalition was supported by 11 of the 21 seats. Friday the coalition lost the support of an MP for the moderate PAIS party.
During the weekend, the coalition parties tried to glue the coalition with the help of the opposition party PAR. PAR demanded support for two ministerial posts and the departure of the controversial Minister Plenipotentiary, Marvelyne Wiels, in The Hague. Yesterday afternoon it became clear that Pueblo Soberano, Whiteman’s party, would not pay that price.
Curaçao may be preparing for early elections in February or March. That's half a year earlier than planned. It is the first time that the population of Curaçao can talk about a new political composition of the parliament after the assassination of politician Helmin Wiels in 2013.
Wiels had won the elections in October 2012 and was able to collect 18 percent of the vote on his own. After his death there were doubts about the type of cabinet he wanted but party member Ivar Asjes did not care about that. He was able to push aside his critics and was thereby supported by Helmin’s sister, the current Minister Plenipotentiary, Marvelyne Wiels.
The Government of Asjes, who was succeeded in September by Whiteman, took office in May 2013. That was after the assassination of Wiels. The government was not popular, because during the two years the government had to particularly cut in its budget to balance their books and put the island’s finances in order. The government remained on his feet for fear of a comeback by the former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte of the MFK.
Schotte is still very popular on the island, despite criminal charges against him. The former Prime Minister is suspected of corruption, money laundering and forgery. His opponents fear that Schotte could win the election before he is sentenced. In 2010, Schotte became Prime Minister thanks to a controversial executed integrity screening.