photo: Tim van Dijk

ORANJESTAD — The political parties on Statia are ‘disappointed’ by the decision of State Secretary Knops (Kingdom Relations) to definitely postpone the Island Council elections.

By Tim van Dijk (English subtitles)

In February the government in the Hague took over the governing of the special municipality because the Island Council was neglecting its duties. The council members were also relieved of their duties.

DP’s political leader Koos Sneek points to the constitution and raises questions when it comes to State Secretary Raymond Knops’ decision to postpone the elections.

According to Knops there would be ‘no point’ to the elections, as long as the financial supervision and infrastructure of the island haven’t ‘almost been fixed’. “In September of next year, we will check and see if everything has been done and if that is the case, we can organize elections the year after”.

Transition period
The Cooperative Platform, which comprises the local political parties, has over the past few months pleaded with Knops to organize the elections on the 20th of March and to create a transition period.

According to Sneek, there will be a ‘big bang’ if a transition period is not determined. “You’ll lose them [the government commissioners] from one day to another. As of now, it seems that councilmembers will be installed from one moment to the next without an opportunity to prepare themselves. They should be thinking along with the commissioners.”