WILLEMSTAD, Curacao (Wednesday, August 8, 2012) AMIGOE-The opposition factions consider introducing motions of no-confidence against members of the government on Tuesday during a public meeting of the Parliament. With these motions, the current opposition with a majority in the Parliament wants to dismiss several outgoing ministers. One of the initiators, PNP-parliamentarian Humphrey Davelaar, emphasized this on Monday that the opposition parties in the Parliament don’t intend to tolerate the current government.
In principle, the motions can count on the support of twelve parliamentarian, namely the PAR (eight seats) and the one-man factions of the PNP, FOL, Eugene Cleopa and Dean Rozier. The last two had recently withdrawn their support to the coalition of MFK, PS and MAN. This coalition can only count on 9 of the 21 seats in the Parliament now. According to Davelaar, just like the other factions in the Parliament, his party is no longer prepared to support the current outgoing minority government. “They’ve been in power for 22 months. We hadn’t supported them in the past months. They pursued a policy that seriously disadvantaged the community. Just look at the matters we learned about in the past weeks. For example, the situation around the delivery of the pressure tank for the hospital, the financial situation of the island, the problems with free education, and the threatening higher supervision by the National Council of Ministers.” The PNP-leader wonders why this government should still enjoy the confidence of the Parliament.
Aim: appoint interim-government
Davelaar assumes all twelve parliamentarians will support the motions. If the motions are adopted they will be forwarded to the governor for enforcement. With the motions the opposition parties want to arrange the dismissal of the ministers in the Schotte-cabinet. It is unknown how this will come about in practice.
The opposition factions’ aim is to appoint an interim government as soon as possible. This interim government is to do the honors until October 19th when the Curaçao people are to choose a new Parliament. It is unknown whether this will be a business-cabinet or a transitional cabinet consisting of a limited number of ministers.
In the political history of the Kingdom it occurred that the Parliament had forced the outgoing ministers to resign. In 1994, outgoing Dutch ministers Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice, CDA) and Ed van Thijn (of the Interior, PvdA) resigned following the investigation methods of the Interregional Criminal Investigation Team (IRT). In 2006, a vote of censure against outgoing minister Rita Verdonk (Alien Affairs, VVD) was adopted. She stayed on as minister but her portfolio was adjusted.
‘Government cannot silence Parliament’
In a letter to the editor, which will be published in this newspaper today, jurist and former vice-chairman of the Advisory Council Frank Kunneman states that the government’s decision to dissolve the Parliament doesn’t mean the government can silence the Parliament. “When the Parliament is dissolved, the Parliament continues to perform all their authorities as stipulated by the Charter and the Constitution. The Parliament is sovereign; meaning the Parliament in this country is the highest power. The Parliament is only limited by what is determined in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the Constitution and in the international treaties. The government can never limit the authorities of the Parliament without the Parliament’s co-operation.”
Kunneman further states that the dissolution of the Parliament doesn’t become effective on the date of the dissolution-order, but after the elections are held in October. This means the government can dissolve the Parliament, but the government cannot silence the Parliament nor make the latter powerless, according to the jurist.