THE HAGUE–The news that Bonaire’s Acting Island Governor Evangelina Betancourt has resigned with immediate effect has resulted in a set of written questions by Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party.
Media reported earlier this week that Betancourt, who has been Acting Island Governor since December 2015, had stepped down following a critical letter of the three Commissioners of the Executive Council. Betancourt has informed Island Governor Edison Rijna and Acting Kingdom Government Representative Jan Helmond of her immediate resignation.
The Commissioners accused Betancourt of having made a mistake in the convening of an Executive Council meeting. In an earlier letter to the Commissioners, Betancourt had accused the members of the Executive Council of acting irresponsibly for not showing up for a recent meeting she had convened.
Betancourt stated in a letter to Rijna that apparently the Commissioners have no problem in twisting the truth of the events that took place. She also stated that she could no longer stay on now that the trust between her and the other members of the Executive Council had severely eroded.
According to Betancourt, she started to receive negative signals from a particular corner, especially from the UPB party, early December last year. Betancourt’s sudden resignation can have consequences for the governing of Bonaire. Her successor-to-be Curvin George has not been sworn in as yet.
Worried about these developments, Member of the Second Chamber Bosman submitted questions to Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on Thursday.
Bosman wanted to know whether there was a breach of trust between the Executive Council and Betancourt, as well as with Rijna. “What consequences does this resignation have for the governing of Bonaire?” Bosman asked.
He wanted to know the effect on the level of governance. “Is this still a matter of good governance? Do you agree that this situation should not be able to continue any longer? What are you going to do to guarantee the governing of Bonaire?” Bosman asked the State Secretary.
Knops will be visiting Bonaire on Monday and Tuesday next week. This issue will surely come up during his talks with the Executive Council and the Island Governor.
Knops will visit Curaçao and Aruba later next week. This is his first formal visit to these islands since his appointment late October last year.