WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- President of the Curacao Parliament, Ivar Asjes, has suspended parliamentary meetings indefinitely, ignoring requests by the opposition political parties and independent members for an election of a new president.
Asjes wants no meetings called before the 19 October election day. With 11 members of parliament in favour of the election of a new chairman and vice chairman and a vote of no confidence against the government, Asjes opted to suspend all meetings.
According to the president, he decides when and whether there are meetings. Asjes gave a speech for more than half an hour about his powers and then closed the meeting. No member of parliament was permitted to speak.
According to PNP leader Humphrey Davelaar, Asjes is trampling on the democracy of Curacao.
“The behaviour of the president of Parliament and the coalition is a big problem for our rule of law. The parliament as a representative of the people is being put aside,” Davelaar said.
Davelaar said he wanted consult with the Governor Frits Goedgedrag, but will first talk with his lawyers. After the political leader discusses everything with his lawyers, he will probably still consult with the governor.
“We will act,” Davelaar added.
PAR-faction leader Pedro Atacho spoke of a parliamentary dictatorship.
“The president of Parliament has an ironic interpretation of the law. He should resign today, since a majority of the States withdrew its support,” said Atacho.
In parliament, the government of Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte has no longer a majority after Dean Rozier (MFK) and Eugene Cleopa (MAN) became independent and declared themselves against the government a few weeks ago.
“The people must choose on October 19 whether they want a dictatorship or a democracy,” said Atacho.
Earlier this month, Asjes suspended a meeting in which the PNP wanted to submit a vote of no confidence against the government. However, Asjes called the motion superfluous, because elections are scheduled for October 19.
“A motion makes no sense, because the government will disregard such a motion. The government can take note of the motion, adapt its policies or resign. I do not expect that the government will do the last,” said the Parliament president of at a press conference earlier this month.
Republished with permission of the Curacao Chronicle