St. Eustatius

Adelka Spanner denounces ‘fake’ Island Council Letter

Snapshot of the letter in question

Oranjestad- In a scathing letter to the media on Thursday afternoon, Council lady Adelka Spanner (DP-Statia) denounced the sending out of a ‘fake’ letter by the PLP and Sneek Fraction to the parliament of St. Maarten.

With their action, Spanner asserts, the council membes have violated Article 34 of the WOLBES law.

“One could argue that the main violation, the proverbial straw that broke the Camel’s back,  that caused the national government in The Hague to intervene in the government of Statia was the disrespect or violations to the WolBES and the FinBES. These are the main laws that regulate the way we govern the Public Entity St.Eustatius. The wise men report speaks of lawlessness. Could it then be possible that in the fight for a more speedy return to full democracy here on Statia the same Island Council members that were removed from office would resort to tactics in violation of the WolBES to convince the government in The Hague to speed up their return to full democracy?”, Spanner asks in her letter.

The council lady points out that if the Council members in the past were sent home for breaking the law, it would be illogical to commit that same error in an effort to be fully restored to power. “Do you prove your level of integrity by violating a simple article of law?”

According to Spanner, the pre-intervention government believed that because Island Deputies could out vote the Island Governor two to one in the Executive Council, meant that they could also make decisions outside of meetings and sign documents on behalf of the Public Entity ignoring the legal role of the Island Governor. “They didn’t mind to record publicly the illegal act of two deputies, supported by the now Island Council members of the PLP, signing an agreement with the oil terminal. The embarrassing part was that the representatives of the Oil Terminal knew that the signing was illegal but signed along to avoid possible reprisals. In Statia this called playing dumb”, according to the DP fraction leader.


According to Spanner, on the 1st of February ultimo the Island Council members Leerdam, Merkman, van Putten and Sneek of St. Eustatius wrote a letter to the Parliament of St. Maarten using the letter head of the Island Council of St.Eustatius. “Similarly like the pre-intervention government they believe that if you have a majority of members in the Island Council they can violate the order set down in the WolBES”.

Spanner however points out that article 34.1 states clearly that documents from the Island Council are signed by the Island Governor and the Registrar not by a majority of the members of the Island Council. “The letter signed by the four members mentioned above is fake and misrepresents the Island Council of St.Eustatius. The Parliament of St. Maarten accepted the fake letter and invited the real Island Council of Statia to make a presentation in the Tripartite consultations between the countries of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten on the 3rd of May. I am not sure if the Parliament of St. Maarten is aware of the illegality of the letter, or that they chose to overlook it”, says Spanner.

The DP fraction leader in her letter wonders if the involved have not learned anything from the intervention. “Is it ok for members of the Island Council to disrespect laws when it is convenient to do so? Is this a good message to our children? The notion that a majority trumps the rule of law is one of the main reasons the national government intervened in Statia. How does this behaviour rhyme with the message that the intervention is taking too long? Is it sensible to rush back to full democracy when it is clear that valuable lessons are not yet learned? It is sad to see that after 4 years a majority of the Island Council still behaves in this manner”.


Spanner concludes her letter by stating that DP-Statia totally condemns this behaviour, which she describes as ‘detrimental both to the integrity of our Island Council and works against a speedy return to full democratic Government in St.Eustatius’.

Deel dit artikel