Newly sworn-in members of the Curacao parliament
By Caribbean News Now contributor
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Well over two weeks after general elections in Curacao and some five days after the newly elected members of parliament were sworn in, the island’s political parties are still struggling to form a coalition government.
Initially, three of the parties, Pueblo Soberano (PS), Movimentu Futuro Korsou (MFK) and MAN, indicated a willingness to form a new coalition government, just as they have in recent years, and signed an agreement to that effect.
However, MFK subsequently withdrew from negotiations, citing disagreements with Helmin Wiels, leader of the largest party PS.
Late Monday night, PS, Partido pa Adelanto i Inovashon Soshal (PAIS) and Partido Nashonal di Pueblo (PNP) informed the official responsible for supervising the process of forming the new government, Glenn Camelia, that they have agreed to sign a “declaration of joint effort.”
The party leaders Helmin Wiels (PS), Alex Rosaria (PAIS) and Humphrey Davelaar (PNP) were due to sign the document on Tuesday.
However, according to Davelaar, “This declaration states that we will attempt to meet, using these ten seats, to form a larger majority in parliament.”
PS (5), PAIS (4) and PNP (1) together have 10 seats, which is not enough to form a majority in the parliament.
Furthermore, the declaration states that the parties stand for high integrity commitment and dedication, that the display of respect for each other is a requirement and that the people who are eligible for a portfolio also have the necessary knowledge to get started as ministers.
“On Sunday we spoke with [Camelia] about this declaration, but also on the different problems and challenges that our country is facing,” said Wiels on Monday night.
The three parties seem to be adotping the same line and Wiels, nor Rosaria nor Davelaar want to exclude a possible fourth party, but all three informed Camelia that they will think about this.
Davelaar said, “Anyone who wants to join is welcome to do so. The point is that Curacao needs a new government which can get to work as soon as possible. The fourth party must accept all conditions stated in the declaration.”
One possible option is MAN, which gained two seats in the elections on October 19. However, its leader Charles Cooper seems adamant about maintaining a possible coalition with the MFK. The MFK with its five seats is an option as a fourth party with PS, PAIS and PNP.
A collaboration with PAR (4 seats) is also a possibility but, in the light of criticism of Pueblo Soberano by PAR, this seems the least likely option.
The Curacao Chronicle contributed to this report.