– PRESS RELEASE —
Oranjestad (Sint Eustatius) – On June 15th the Court of First Instance for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba has rendered the verdict concerning the dispute between the two Island Commissioners as Plaintiffs and the Acting Island Governor of Statia as Defendant. The decision of the Court is that the Acting Island Governor is ordered to sign the decisions the Executive Council has agreed upon by majority of votes. These decisions concern the suspension of the Harbour Master, the signing of the Waste Management Agreement, the co-signing of a letter to the Minister BZK and the approval of an official mission by one of Commissioners to The Hague. The Court has rejected the claim concerning the contract with NuStar.
The Court has reached this decision on the following grounds:
The Court has found that it has jurisdiction in this case. The claims of the plaintiffs, in their capacity as Island Commissioners, are admissible. There is also a pressing interest that allows the Court to give decisions in this injunction case.
On the merits of the case the Court has ruled as follows. There is no basis in the Wet Openbare Lichamen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba for the Acting Governor to refuse to sign the decisions that were taken by the Executive Council with a majority of the votes cast. The Acting Governor is, together with the Commissioners, responsible for a thorough preparation of the decisions. If the Acting Governor is of the opinion that the decisions are not in conformity with the law he (or the Kingdom’s Representative) has the possibility to request nullification of the decision by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There is no basis in the law for the Acting Governor to refuse his signature.
The Court has not imposed penalty payments on its order to the Acting Governor to sign the decisions. It is of the opinion that it should be a matter of course for the Acting Governor to adhere to court decisions.
The Court has awarded court fees to the Commissioners in the amount of USD 5.000,00.