The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation adapts the Law on Chambers of Commerce and Industry BES. The adaptations take place based on remarks received as a result of consultations with the Chambers of Commerce and Executive Councils.
Since the forming of the Dutch Caribbean on October 10th 2010, in addition to the Chamber of Commerce on Bonaire, a new Chamber of Commerce has been established for Sint Eustatius and Saba. Before the transition date these islands did not have an own Chamber of Commerce, but they were subjected to the Chamber of Commerce that was established on Sint Maarten. One aspect of the establishment is the election of board members which, will take place by the end of 2011.
To vote and to be elected
With the current change of law the requirement to be Dutch is cancelled for both active and passive voting rights. This has been done because the business community on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba is quite international.
The change of law has been carried out to make it possible that all who were registered in the commercial registry as per October 15th 2011 and who are involved with a company can vote. Anyone who wants to stand for election, can apply for candidacy up to mid November 2011 by reporting at the Chamber of Commerce. The requirements are amongst others: having been resident of the island for two years and being at least 25 years of age.
Date of registration
Furthermore an adaptation has been made in the date as per which a person has to be registered in the commercial registry in order to be allowed to participate in the election. As of 2012 this is July 1st of each year. The reason for this is because the Chamber has to be able to prepare properly for the elections and for the compilation of the voters list. As per 2012 the voters lists (those are the lists of the people who have the right to vote) will be compiled as per August 1st taking into account the information of the commercial registry as per July 1st. The term of one month is as short as possible and workable.
The adaptation the law currently provides for is with regard to the 2011 elections: to be allowed to participate in the elections, one has to be registered in the commercial registry as per October 15th. This one time adaptation is because of the transition of the Chambers of Commerce and the commercial register, which was previously held on Sint Maarten for the Windward Islands. By establishing October 15th 2011 as the reference date, it is made possible that as many companies as possible that have registered in the right commercial registry only in the course of 2011, may qualify for active voting rights.