st maarten news

Sint-Eustatius will go to the polls again next year

Sint-Eustatius chooses another island council on October 21, 2020. State Secretary Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations says this in a letter to the House of Representatives.

A return to full democracy is not yet on the agenda. The minister has drawn up a four-phase plan, whereby the Statians are given their own management step by step.

The Netherlands intervened on the island in February 2018, after a committee of wise people had concluded that there was lawlessness, financial mismanagement, ignoring other legal authority, discrimination, intimidation and the pursuit of personal power by the political group of Clyde of Putten.

The committee found that the St Eustatius administration had turned away from the existing legal and state order and was no longer prepared to let go of autonomous autonomy.

Four phases

According to Knops, much work has been done after the Dutch intervention and the issues have been clearly mapped out. It is also clear which improvements are needed. But a decision to fully restore democracy and the associated regular administrative relationships is not yet justified, according to the minister.

The four-phase plan aims at the final administrative standardization of the island. The first phase is the holding of elections for a new island council. In this phase there is no executive college and no lieutenant. Government Commissioner Mike Franco continues to perform the duties of these bodies, as well as the other powers not assigned to the Island Council.

In the second phase, the Island Council will again be given the authority to appoint and dismiss representatives. Financial decision-making and the official organization remain with the government commissioner. No governor is appointed in this phase either.

In the third phase, the Island Council and the Executive Council receive the budget law and other legal powers and the responsibility for the civil service organization. An Lieutenant Governor is appointed who will perform all his duties and powers. The government commissioner will remain as a supervisor for some time.

The fourth phase ends Knops’ administrative intervention and relieves the government commissioner from his position.

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