Published On: Fri, Aug 17th, 2012

Caribbean municipalities: not even 15,000 voters

KRALENDIJK — On September 12th the people of Caribbean Netherlands will take part in the Lower Chamber Elections. In total, it regards not even 15,000 voters on the islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, who are allowed to vote directly for the first time, following the political reform of the Netherlands Antilles 2010.

The Ministry Caribbean Netherlands is meanwhile launching an information campaign in the local media on Bonaire (over 11,000 voters) St. Eustatius (over 2,000) and Saba (1,000). However, the question is whether the elections are of any interest to the people.

Any attention for the Dutch elections slackened after the announcement early this week on Bonaire regarding a 50-percent increase of the price of electricity and water. Many residents of the English-speaking islands St. Eustatius and Saba still think the Netherlands is no concern to them.

Not all of the parties are taking part in Caribbean Netherlands. For instance, the Pirates’ Party, Party for Humans and Spirit (MenS) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LibDem) are excluded from participation. To-date Dutch politicians have shown little interest in the islands. PVV-leader Geert Wilders arrived on Bonaire last Saturday but that was for a holiday.

Politicians, currently campaigning, are Ron de Haan, candidate on the list of Netherlands Local, who recently visited Bonaire; and Arjan Erkel, number 23 on the list of candidates from the CAD, who will visit Bonaire later this month (he’ll skip St. Eustatius and Saba due to ‘inconvenient flight connections’). Then there was some commotion because Hero Brinkman from Democratic Political Turning
The islands Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten are ‘autonomous countries within the Kingdom’ and don’t classify within a Dutch constituency. Dutch citizens living on Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten could only cast their vote if they’ve lived in the Netherlands for at least 10 years or are working in the Dutch public and register on time. Many people had made use of this possibility in the past.Point mentioned in interviews with Dutch newspapers the corruptive behavior of the lieutenant governor of Bonaire with handling the support declarations. The lieutenant governor subsequently stated to consider pressing charges against Brinkman.

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