Editorial DH: Changes in allegiance

Up to now no fewer than 20 political parties have announced plans to participate in Curaçao’s September 30 parliamentary elections; practically one for each of the 21 seats. Six are currently represented in the legislature, which means the other 14 all must try to qualify by obtaining support from one per cent of the total vote in the most recent election.

Local readers who find this remarkable should keep in mind that St. Maarten is not that far off. Eight parties currently not represented in Parliament were registered for the local election of September 26, but two of these have since merged with others, so there are six left: One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP), Concordia Political Alliance (CPA), Helping Our People Excel (HOPE), St. Maarten Christian Party (SMPC), St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM) and People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA), which made the necessary changes to its articles of incorporation.

To these must be added the four existing parties with representation in Parliament United People’s (UP) party, National Alliance (NA), Democratic Party (DP) and United St. Maarten Party (USP), totalling 10.

However, how many actually will be vying for the 15 available seats remains to be seen, depending on what backing the “newcomers” receive in the pre-election following Nomination Day on August 8. After all, several aspiring politicians have struggled to overcome this obstacle in the past.

The next hurdle has to do with the system whereby only candidate lists that earn a first seat outright are considered for so-called residual seats. This threshold was removed for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba when they became the Caribbean Netherlands per 10-10-10, but is still very much in place in St. Maarten.

It also appears increasingly unlikely that the envisioned electoral reforms to stop the practice of “ship-jumping” can still be introduced before adult citizens go to the polls. Without such, once the elected representatives are holding office there could yet be changes in allegiance that affect the final outcome in terms of forming the next government.
Source: Daily Herald
Changes in allegiance