Oranjestad- PLP-leader Clyde van Putten, in a letter dated February 19, 2017 to Secretary-General Richard Van Zwol of the Ministery of Interior Affairs and Kingom Relations (BZK), suggests for local candidate Alida Francis to be appointed as the next Island Governor of St. Eustatius.
Van Putten in his letter to Van Zwol repeats the strong objections of the coalition government formed by his Progressive Labor Party (PLP) and independent councilman Reuben Merkman, against the appointment of a European Dutch national as new (acting) Island Governor. The suggestion to appoint a European Dutch candidate had been made by BZK Minster Ronald Plasterk when addressing parliament in relation to concerns about the public governance on the island.
“The alternative candidate I proposed to you during our meeting, Miss Alida Francis is an experienced, professional and qualified local person”, according to the letter written by Van Putten. “She has my full support and I am convinced she will receive broad support in the Island Council as well”, according to the PLP party leader.
There still seems to be some discussion as to the status of the next island governor. While The Hague has consistently mentioned to be looking to appoint a new ‘acting’ Island Governor to replace current acting Island Governor Julian Woodley, most observers seem to feel that at this point an official Island Governor should be appointed so that he or she can work for the full term of 6 years, thereby bringing much needed continuity and stability to the island.
As far as the BES-Reporter knows, no formal reaction has been received from The Hague as of yet to the suggestion made by Van Putten.