Oranjestad: The Government of St. Eustatius is of the opinion that the Kingdom Charter (Statuut), Wet Openbare Lichamen BES (Wolbes) and Wet op de Openbare Financiën Bonaire, St. Eustatius en Saba (Finbes) go against relevant UN charters and is therefore inoperative.
The position of the governing coalition is not new, as a motion stating basically the same was adopted in the Island Council last week by IC-members Van Putten, Leerdam and Merkman. The position of local government is underlined in a press release to local media today, from the hand of Commissioner Derreck Simmons Jr. (PLP).
Simmons states in the press release, among others: “These motions (adopted in the IC, editor) basically declare all legislation and/or actions of/by the Government of the Netherlands which are in conflict with the UN Charter and resolutions, including the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (het Statuut), the WolBES, the FinBES, and the imposed higher/preliminary supervision and other interference, as inoperative”.
Simmons also states that he regrets the fact that The Hague seems reluctant to start a open and frank dialogue with the PLP/Merkman government. “I regret the reluctance on the part of the ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to start an open and frank dialogue with the Government of St. Eustatius and the delay in installing the committee of wise men as agreed between the Government of St. Eustatius and Secretary-General Richard Van Zwol during his two visits to the island in March based on improper and trivial arguments”, according to Simmons.
Simmons in his press release states that he is nevertheless looking forward to meetings he will have in The Netherlands this week. “Nevertheless, I look forward to the meetings with the technical and political representatives of the Government of the Netherlands this week, as well as an interactive information session with the Statians living in the Netherlands. I also look forward to having talks with Statians and others who are willing to come to the island and make a valuable contribution to the quest towards autonomy”, according to the commissioner in charge of constitutional affairs.
It is expected that The Hague will not be pleased by the position taken by the Government of St. Eustatius. The motions and the press release by Simmons will probably add to already existing and mounting tensions between Local and Kingdom Government.