photo: The Daily Herald | Althea Merkman

ORANJESTAD – Voters on St. Eustatius flocked behind “their own” candidate Koos Sneek in the Second Chamber election. He was the 49th candidate on the CDA voting list.

The Democratic Party (DP) Islandcouncilman garnered 335 votes. A total of 436 from the 1,875 eligible voters casted their vote.

On election night Progressive Labour Party (PLP) via a local radio station encouraged voters not to take part in the elections and to express their dissatisfaction with Dutch authority. Sneek, however, said he was proud to have had the chance to be Statia’s first representative in the House.

‘More candidates’
“It is a first step and I hope that the next time more people on the island have the opportunity to be a candidate. The idea is for more people to become more involved in the elections, because the Dutch government is our government. They also represent us. The residents of the Caribbean Netherlands should also cast their votes. It would be good if there are more candidates from the islands and not only me”, said Sneek.

Thanks to his candidacy the CDA won the election on Statia with an overwhelming majority. In second place was D66 with 27 votes. GroenLinks accumulated 15 votes, and Article 1, the party of Sylvana Simons, finished in fourth place with 14 votes.

First black female leader
“I voted for Simons, because she is the first black female leader. Her party represents all of the Netherlands, people from the Caribbean and the Netherlands and people from different beliefs and religions,” a Statian voter remarked.

The PVV and SP each received 8 votes. The VVD only got 6 votes, while the PvdA did not do much better with five votes. Christian Union accumulated four votes. Party for the Animals received three votes and 50PLUS and Forum voor Democratie (FvD) each two votes.

A student from the Netherlands has mixed feelings about the election results. “I am now nine months on the island. I’m far from home and hope that good leaders are in government. Many of my friends on the island are not going to vote. The distance between the Netherlands and Statia makes things very complicated.”