Oranjestad- Coalition partners Reuben Merkman (independent) and Clyde van Putten, leader of the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) have fired off another angry letter towards The Hague, this time directed to Secretary-General of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Richard van Zwol. The letter comes on the eve of Van Zwol’s visit to St. Eustatius.
The coalition partners are irked by the way Van Zwol plans to have conversations about the process of the recruitment of a new (acting) island governor. “First of all,we have noted that we did not receive a draft agenda for the meetings you requested with the (members and factions of the) Island Council,as well as information on your delegation. For the sake of clarity and transparency, we are hereby requesting said draft agenda prior to the meetings in order for us to prepare adequately”, according to the letter signed by Merkman en Van Putten.
“Seeing that the purpose of your visit was purportedly to discuss the appointment of a(n) (acting) Governor, we find it strange that you will not be meeting with the “vertrouwenscommi ssie” in a plenary setting”, according to the letter sent to van Zwol.
The members of the governing coalition also protest the fact that Van Zwol prepared to meet first with opposition party Island Council Member Mr. Sneek, who is actually not even a member of the said committee, on the night before the meetings with the other Island Council members, two of which are actually members of the “vertrouwenscommissie”. According to Van Putten and Merkmann this is a is a sign of disrespect to entire the “vertrouwenscommissie”, and in particular its Chairman, Councilman Merkman.
It can be expected that the letter by Merkman and Van Putten will do little to restore already bruised relations between local government and The Hague. Other sources or irritations are the way Holland has implemented the tightened supervision and the fact that The Hague has decided to send the draft agreement between local government and NuStar to the State Attorney.