28 September 2012

Curacao Prime Minister will not yield to Interim Cabinet

Schotte is not stepping down

Daily Herald

~ Constitutional crisis worsens ~

WILLEMSTAD--Outgoing Curaçao Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte (MFK) will not respond to a call to make way for an interim cabinet. He made his decision known in a letter to Governor Frits Goedgedrag dated September 25.
In the letter Schotte argued that the decision to replace his already-resigned cabinet after earlier agreeing to dissolve Parliament and call snap elections on October 19 was insufficiently motivated. In the young prime minister's opinion, the governor is only allowing the current majority to retaliate by having the caretaker government sent home under the guise of a lack of confidence.

According to him, this goes against the constitutional norms that create the possibility that Parliament sends government home, but also that government may dissolve Parliament and call new elections.

Schotte accused Goedgedrag of having an apparent political preference for 12 Parliament members. "It surprised me that as a good Governor of Curaçao you chose to form an interim cabinet rather than calling on the Members of Parliament to fulfil their duties."

Furthermore, according to the prime minister, Goedgedrag did not have jurisdiction in this case. Schotte referred to the position the governor took in his letter to government and Parliament, in which he indicated that the correct course of action in this case was not to follow the political preferences of the incumbent ministers, because it involved another parliamentary majority.

Schotte said he found it incomprehensible that it was now all about a majority in Parliament and that importance no longer was given to the caretaker status of government and the underlying act of dissolving Parliament.

Schotte also denied that acting correctly entailed starting a formation process independent of the incumbent government.

"The current Constitution leaves no room for the governor to act without the approval of the cabinet. I think your statement follows the existing political division in our country, while your performance ought to be directed only at promoting unity," he said.

Schotte further stated that he would not cooperate with "any outcome whatsoever in the implementation of your decision to form an interim government" and called on Goedgedrag to cease the formation of an interim cabinet.

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