Oranjestad, St. Eustiatus- This morning saw the swearing in of the members of the Statia Island Council, which were elected in the general election of October 21, 2020.
After approving the respective credentials, each of the members took the oath in front of Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij. The five members of the Island Council are Rechelline Leerdam, Reuben Merkman and Clyde van Putten for the PLP, and Adelka Spanner and Koos Sneek on behalf of the Democratic Party (DP).
Following the official swearing in, each of the five Island Council members held a short introduction, thanking the voters but also giving some impression on their goals in the sitting of the new Island Council.
Rechelline Leerdam got quite emotional in the first part of her speech, barely holding back her tears as she spoke. Koos Sneek said that, while he looked forward to a fruitful cooperation with the PLP, he hoped there would be no repetition of scenes in the past, which eventually led to the Dutch intervention.
Clyde van Putten, probably not surprisingly, held the longest introduction. While Van Putten also struck a reconciliatory tone, he insisted that democracy on the island be fully restored and reiterated that while the PLP was not looking for independence from The Netherlands, it would still insist on a ‘full measure of internal self-government’.
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