Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- The 5 members of Statia’s Island Council have presented a document to State Secretary Raymong Knops, with a proposed timetable for the return to full democracy on the island.
The document, signed by all IC members of the 3 factions currently forming the Island Council, was handed to Knops during his visit to the island. A copy of the document was also sent to the Second Chamber permanent committee for Kingdom Relations.
First reports coming out of St. Eustatius show that the reaction to Knops to the document presented was ‘underwhelming’. Tomorrow morning at 10 AM, the Island Council is planning a press statement to provide more details on the situation.
The letter from the Island Council details mentions several setbacks the island has had to endure in the return to Full Democracy after the Dutch Intervention. “We have encountered a setback twice. The first time with the replacement of the team Franco/Stegers, whereby a new team van Rij/Francis had to pick up where they left. In April Government Commissioner Marnix Van Rij, has resigned from office and we are left with an unfavorable and undemocratic situation where there is one Government Commissioner tasked with 22 portfolios and solely charged with the daily decision making of the executing body”, according to the letter.
The letter underscores that all three factions in the Island Council are committed to the process, but based on the aforementioned points and the current and potential setbacks, would like to use this opportunity to propose to re-evaluate the process to restore democracy.
“The Council believes in Good Governance and therefore is a strong proponent of the continued building and strengthening of the various areas of the civil service and government’s responsibilities. This, as we know, have been a challenge for decades because of insufficient finances and qualified personnel”, according to the letter handed to Knops.