Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- DP party prominent and former Commissioner Koos Sneek feels that the law for the grandual return to Democracy on St. Eustatius should not be adopted by parliament.
Sneek expresses his opinion in a lengthy letter, in which he motivates his current position.
“In September last year in a townhall meeting, then still state-secretary, Raymond Knops presented his four step-plan for Statia to return to full local democracy, which is now reflected in the law proposal. In short, the draft law, when becoming law, will make it possible for our people to elect an island council, most likely in October, as the first of the four-step plan”, according to Sneek.
Sneek has a problem with the fact that under the current draft law, the Island Council would have a very limited role. “This island council has very limited authority. Most authority remains by the government commissioner. The latter will even be allowed to take decisions as if he is the island council. Not once, but twice the Council of State in their advice are questioning whether there will be political parties interested to take part in these elections. A concern I share, which the now minister Knops does not even consider. I would want to know if the lawmakers who are asked to approve this law for Statia would be willing to run for office under these conditions”.
Sneek says that his conclusion is that this law should not be passed by parliament. “I have difficulty to believe that a member of parliament would postulate him or herself for an election under conditions of this law, in which you do not have the budget right and cannot appoint commissioners to carry out your party’s program”.
Sneek writes that he does agree with a transitional period. This transitional period, according to Sneek, should be with a duly elected island council and executive council functioning according to the WolBES and the FinBES.
Sneek is of the opinion that sufficient guarantees can be built in for the progress to continue and the chance that the situation from before 2018 will repeat itself be minimized as much as possible. This, according to the former Councilman can be achieved by simply giving the governor special powers to intervene when necessary and maintaining the provision of sufficient technical support.
The complete letter of Sneek can be viewed here.