ST. EUSTATIUS–Curaçao politician Marcolino “Mike” Franco has been appointed by the Dutch Government via a royal decree as government commissioner on St. Eustatius. The island is a special municipality of the Netherlands
Former Mayor of Tubbergen Mervyn Stegers is Franco’s deputy.
Franco will regularly engage in dialogue with residents and business owners. He will install a social advisory council that will give solicited and unsolicited advice.
Franco is a physical therapist on Curaçao and has more than 20 years of experience in political and administrative functions on that island. From 2012 to 2016, he was the chairman of the Curaçao Parliament.
Stegers was a teacher and a lawyer before he became alderman and deputy Mayor of Den Helder. From 2001 to 2017, he was the mayor of Tubbergen.
The two commissioners were nominated by Dutch State Secretary for Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops to take charge of the Statia Government in what he called an “exceptional measure.”
According to Knops, the current government has completely neglected its tasks and there are intimidation and lawlessness.
The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament and the Senate adopted a bill on Tuesday providing for an administrative intervention in St. Eustatius.
Franco, as government commissioner, will assume all tasks and powers of the island administration. This state of affairs will continue until the authorities of St. Eustatius are capable of performing their duties properly, according to the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations. Only at that time will new elections be held for an island council, so a new administration can take office.
Franco’s appointment has not been welcomed by the local administration which has labelled it an imperial takeover of their affairs. Several persons have called for the intervention of the United Nations to secure the island’s right to take charge of its own affairs.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73476-franco-appointed-as-statia-commissioner