Published On: Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

There is no way back now for the Government

new governmentWILLEMSTAD -  What was looking to become an ugly confrontation in Curaçao has been averted, after the new MFK/KdNT/PS/MP/Braam/Dannawi coalition announced it would cooperate with the April 28 elections after all. The group with 12 of 21 seats in Parliament did not agree with the manner in which the then-outgoing Koeiman Cabinet was allowed to dissolve the legislature and call snap elections, while there was a different majority willing to form a another government.

Their recently installed interim Pisas Cabinet tried to persuade Governor Lucille George-Wout to sign for reversing the contested decision, but she refused and referred the matter to The Hague, where the Kingdom Council of Ministers had already scheduled an extra meeting on Friday to deal with it. Expectations were that both the local Parliament and Government would be side-lined for the Governor to take charge of the election.

One can only imagine the kind of tense situation this would have created, as the Supreme Electoral Council (SEC) had meanwhile been ordered by Ministerial Decree to cease its already ongoing preparations for an early return to the polls and civil servants at the Registrar’s Office were even instructed not to participate in such. A mass demonstration subsequently took place and court cases as well as complaints were being filed, demanding the election continue as planned.

Many still question how a cabinet being forced out of office due to a lack of legislative support can send Parliament home and call snap elections despite the existence of a new majority willing to form the next government. Nevertheless, it has now been done twice, both in Curaçao and St. Maarten.

On the other hand, in this latest case candidate lists had already been submitted, parties needing to do so had gone through a qualification round to get on the ballot and voting cards were long since ordered. Moreover, a petition filed by the coalition with the European Court over this issue was declared inadmissible.

Reasonably speaking, there was simply no way back.

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