Chamber insists on vision of the future from the islands

THE HAGUE — The Upper and Lower Chamber urge the parliaments of Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba to give their opinion on the future of the Kingdom, for example on a subject such as suffrage for the Lower and Upper Chamber as soon as possible.


online casino

An explanation is also requested from the Dutch government. A debate on the future is advisable only afterwards, they concluded today in a collective meeting.

The committees Kingdom Relations of both Chambers discussed the report ‘Choosing for the Kingdom’ today. This report was composed at the end of 2009 on the initiative of the Parliamentary Consultation Kingdom Relations (POK), in which the parliaments of the Antilles, Aruba and the Netherlands were represented at that time. The aim was to examine which solutions there are for the democratic deficit or the lack of participation with decisions on government affairs, such as foreign affairs, defense and other policy for which the National Council of Ministers is responsible. The Upper and Lower Chamber discussed the report in January for the first time and amongst others declared themselves against a suffrage for the Dutch parliament for the islanders. They also had questions on the appointment of a permanent representative of the islands, who could attend parliamentary meetings in the Netherlands. Today it appeared that the various parties were still stuck with the same viewpoints and questions. "What we wanted was an answer from the government so that we could debate on that, and we finally also want to know how one thinks on the other side of the ocean," said Lower Chamber member Bas Jan van Bochove from the CDA, who was supported in that by the other parties. Van Bochove and the Upper Chamber party of the SP wanted to know how a permanent liaison would perform in practice. The SP also referred to a conclusion in the report that the Charter offers several possibilities when it regards democracy within the Kingdom. Sineke ten Horn from the SP said, "We would like to know how the parliaments think about that."
VVD Upper Chamber member Fred de Graaf indicated he was very curious about the islands’ reaction on the viewpoint that suffrage for the Dutch parliament is not one of the possibilities. He said he could rather imagine suffrage for the Upper Chamber than for the Lower Chamber." "After all, in the Netherlands we do not vote for the States on the islands."
De Graaf also referred to a detailed note on the Kingdom, which the Dutch government had proclaimed one year ago and in which the same subjects had come up. "I can imagine that the government wants to wait with answers until that note is ready." VVD politician Brigitte van der Burg, chairperson of the Lower Chamber committee Kingdom Relations subsequently suggested to ask the parliaments of Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba for a speedy response and to urge the Dutch government to present the note on the Kingdom even before April 1st, in view of the elections for the provincial states on May 23rd next year, and consequently also the appointment of a new Upper Chamber.
Several parties also suggested postponing the scheduled working visit to the islands until after the debate on the future of the Kingdom, but Marijke Linthorst from the CDA suggested viewing the working visit and the debate separately. A date for the working visit hasn’t been set yet.