Right-wing PVV comes to defence of Island Governor Rijna

Right-wing PVV comes to defence of Island Governor Rijna

KRALENDIJK – The Party for Freedom (PVV) in The Netherlands has come to the defence of  Island Governor Edison Rijna.

The party of Geert Wilders’s decided to send off a letter to State Secretary Alexandra Van Huffelen, requesting clarification about whether or Island Governors haven a obligation to vote on the Executive Council or not.

The polemic, stirred up once again by journalist René Zwart (who is regularly hired by Governor Rijna for PR purposes, editor), still revolves around the vote that Rijna recently cast in the BC in favour of granting a permit to the controversial Sunset Beach Resort.

A key question here is whether the lieutenant governor is obliged to vote on matters that are on the table within the BC, or whether his vote would be optional. Precisely because there seems to be no clarity about this, the House of Representatives recently adopted a motion that called on the governors to exercise restraint in voting on the granting of permits or changes to zoning plans.


According to Zwart, State Secretary Van Huffelen has recently provided incorrect information to Dutch Parliament about the issue, but others are not so sure yet. “Voting is compulsory within the Island Council, but not within the Executive Council,” says an insider, who is of the opinion that it is not a good thing if the Island Governor as unelected official can exert such great influence within the Executive Council.

The PVV now wants to know from Van Huffelen whether she is prepared to apologize to Rijna, if it turns out that she has not correctly informed Parliament on this point. According to the party, Rijna’s reputation has been ‘seriously damaged’ by the event.

On Bonaire however, many citizens seem to be of the opinion that it is not so much the motion or misinformation by Van Huffelen that has discredited Rijna, but the fact that the Governor says one thing in the press, and reality acts completely contrary to those statements. 

It is also pointed out that even if he had an obligation to vote, this does still not make it clear why he voted in favour of the license with the minority within the BC, rather than against with the political majority in the Council.


Although it is possible that there are no official objections to the granting of a permit for the construction of a 5-storey hotel, a motion has been passed in Bonaire’s Island Council which indicates that the Public Entity aims to build smaller boutique hotels up to a maximum of 100 rooms. The Sunset Beach Resort would surpass that with 245 rooms.

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