The Public Prosecution Service (OM) BES warns in a press release on Tuesday against difficult criminal offenses surrounding the elections scheduled for March 15.
“On March 15, you can cast your vote again for the Island Council elections and the elections for the Electoral Council. Free and fair elections are the basis of our democratic constitutional state and are therefore very important for all residents of the Caribbean Netherlands,” said the Public Prosecution Service.
How elections should be conducted is regulated in the Elections Act. This law also states what is not allowed around the elections and what sanctions are imposed on those criminal offences. The Public Prosecution Service says it will ensure that signals of criminal offenses related to the elections are investigated and, where necessary, prosecuted.
“Signals can be prompted by a report being made, but can also become known to the Public Prosecution Service in another way. In that case, even without a report being filed, a criminal investigation can be initiated,” said the Public Prosecution Service.
The Public Prosecution Service points out that the Elections Act stipulates, among other things, that it is prohibited to obtain a proxy from a person entitled to vote by means of a gift or a promise. Selling your power of attorney is also prohibited. Both offenses carry a prison sentence of 6 months.
The Electoral Act also criminalizes the recruitment of proxies. So even if there is no reward in return, it is still forbidden to approach voters to obtain their proxy.
“The essence of these criminal offenses is that every person entitled to vote must be able to vote in complete freedom and that the vote of every person entitled to vote counts equally for the result. Only if that is guaranteed can there be free and fair elections.”
For further information, please refer to www.kiesraad.nl/verkiezingen/eilandsraden and for Bonaire to www.bonairestemt.nl