New Island Council Saba installed

The new Island Council 2023-2027 in session on Wednesday. Photo: Public Entity St. Eustatius

THE BOTTOM- The new Saba Island Council 2023-2027 was installed on Wednesday, March 29. Five new members of the Island Council, Saskia Matthew, Hemmie van Xanten, Rolando Wilson, Elsa Peterson and Vito Charles, were sworn in, as well as two new members of the Executive Council, Commissioners Bruce Zagers and Eviton Heyliger.

The new Island Council has two new faces, and both are young females. Saskia Matthew became Island Council Member for the Party for Progress, Equality and Prosperity (PEP) and Elsa Peterson for the Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM). Former Island Council Member Eviton Heyliger became Commissioner and will work with Bruce Zagers, who was reappointed as Commissioner.

In the presence of many family members, friends and supporters, the five elected Island Council Members, Matthew, Van Xanten, Zagers, Wilson and Heyliger were sworn in whereby Island Council Registrar Akilah Levenstone read the deed of oath and the new members took either the oath or affirmation. The five sworn in Island Council Members then voted for the new commissioners through a ballot. Five votes were cast in favor of Zagers and four in favor of Heyliger to be appointed as commissioners.

Zagers and Heyliger subsequently resigned as Island Council members, and the three remaining Island Council Members, Matthew, Wilson and Van Xanten, examined the credentials of two new Island Council Members Charles and Peterson. After the documents were approved, Peterson and Charles were sworn in. “We are now complete,” said Chairman and Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.

Acting Registrar

Before inviting the new Island Council members and commissioners to give their inaugural speech, Chairman Johnson presented a proposal to appoint Devi van Groningen, the legal advisor of the Public Entity Saba, as acting island registrar. The appointment of Van Groningen, who will act as island registrar in case of absence of registrar Levenstone, was unanimously approved.

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