Ministry of Constitutional and Home Affairs releases draft Federal ordinance


"Transition Regulation early elections Island Councils of Curaçao and St. Maarten"

(Willemstad, Curaçao) Minister of Constitutional and Home Affairs, Roland Duncan, on January 29th 2010,released to the media, the draft ordinance to amend the Island Regulation in connection with the transition of the islands of Curaçao and St. Maarten to country status.

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The draft federal ordinance has been submitted to the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles on January 26, 2010, under the responsibility of Prime Minister Mrs. Emily de Jongh-Elhage and Minister Roland E. Duncan.

The draft ordinance pertains only to the island territories of Curaçao and St. Maarten and contains several important and noteworthy amendments to the Island Regulation 1951:

a) Dissolution of island councils and early elections: One-time dissolution of the island councils and scheduling of elections within three (3) months.

b) Expansion of the Island council of St. Maarten. The island council of St. Maarten is to be expanded to fifteen (15) members after the election resulting from the dissolution of the island council. (The island council of Curaçao will not be expanded)

c) Expansion of the Executive Council of St. Maarten. The maximum allowed amount of Commissioners in the Executive Council of St. Maarten will be increased to seven (7), with the provision that the number of commissioners that are also members of the island council cannot be more than half of the number of island council members. In other words, the maximum number of Commissioners that are also members of the island council shall continue to be five (5).

d) Dualism. After the aforementioned elections, the functions of island and executive council members will be separated. In other words, a commissioner cannot be a member of the island council at the same time or vice versa.

e) Other technical amendments. The draft ordinance also contains necessary technical amendments to the island regulation.

By increasing the number of commissioners, the Executive Council of St. Maarten will be better able to handle the additional authority, powers and work-load resulting from the transfer of powers and authority to the territory from the Central Government. In country St. Maarten there shall be seven (7) ministries, which can be mirrored before the new status goes into effect because of this amendment to the Island Regulation.  

The increase of the Island Council of the island territory of St. Maarten to fifteen (15) council members is in conformity with draft new constitution of country St. Maarten, which prescribes a parliament of fifteen (15) members.