19 February 2018



the United People’s Coalition (UPC) sees the takeover of government on St. Eustatius on the basis of the “Three Wise Men” report as “an unfortunate and heavy handed measure.
Reginald Zaandam

“It must be clear that UPC sees this action as a sad day and a black page in Statia’s history. Some may rejoice, but UPC sees this measure as an action that creates a wrong perception and also severe attack on our ability and capability to govern our island,” Reginald Zaandam of the coalition said in a press statement.

The current coalition is not scot free in this development, he said. “As one of the coalition member stated in their radio programme that they saw this long coming, we of the UPC wonder why they did not adjust their approach in governing to avert this move by the Dutch.”

Listening to a recent radio programme, Zaandam said, “It was clear that this measure was the fault of everyone else but them. It is unbelievable that these persons thought that they could continue doing at will what they wanted with impunity.”
On the other hand, a closer look at Article 132 used as basis of this measure, UPC failed to see grounds derived from this article that substantiate the postponing of the next year’s election.

There are several municipalities in the Netherlands that were placed under similar supervision, but were never excluded from taking part in the election he said. “Our thoughts are that this part of the measure should be contested through a summary case.”

UPC questioned why Statia’s government, in the spirit of good governance and of course transparency, was not given the opportunity in a bilateral consult to clarify and or to discuss these findings and recommendations before The Hague enforced this measure.
“Now since we read the content of the measure, let us wait and see in what spirit the state secretary will explain this unfortunate measure to our people,” Zaandam said.

Dutch State Secretary for Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops appointed two commissioners to take charge of the Statia Government in what he called an “exceptional measure.”

According to Knops, the current government has completely neglected its tasks and there are intimidation and lawlessness. The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament and the Senate adopted a bill on Tuesday providing for an administrative intervention in St. Eustatius.