Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

Plasterk: Dutch Caribbean Islands Not to Start Elections Earlier

WILLEMSTAD – Dutch Caribbean Business reports that Dutch Minister Ronald Plasterk (Kingdom Relations) does not want future elections in the Caribbean Netherlands to take place earlier than in those the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as proposed by the Dutch Caribbean Islands Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius.

Plasterk communicated his opinion in a letter to the Dutch Parliament. The Caribbean turnout for the last election, the first in which te populations of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba could vote, was particularly low. Less than a quarter of potential voters showed up. The percentage of blank votes, at 14 percent of total votes, was also very high.

The Dutch islands suggested to start the elections one day in advance since that could lead to extra attention from the Dutch media and the political parties. This could serve as a possible stimulus that might lead to more involvement of the islanders.

Plasterk does not believe the change is a good idea. "In the present situation, there is a risk that the outcome in the Caribbean Netherlands is affected by the results in the Netherlands. The reverse situation, namely that the outcome in the Netherlands would be affected by the outcome in the Caribbean Netherlands, I think, is even less desirable", said the Dutch Minister.

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