St. Eustatius Central Voting Bureau members during the election for the Electoral Council in 2019. (File photo)
ST. EUSTATIUS–The deadline for new political parties wishing to register to take part in the Island Council election in St. Eustatius in October passed on Monday, July 27, but no new political parties registered for the upcoming election.
Currently, the public entity St. Eustatius is under an administrative takeover by the Dutch government that took effect on February 7, 2018, during which the Executive Council – led by the coalition of Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and independent Island Council Member Reuben Merkman – and the Island Council were sent home.Originally, the administrative takeover was due to last for a period of two years, but has since been extended until 2024. New government commissioners were appointed and the Island Council election originally scheduled for March 2019 was postponed.Simone de Brabander stated on behalf of the public entity that local political parties that submitted valid lists of candidates for the Island Council election in 2015 do not need to register for the upcoming Island Council election of Wednesday, October 21, 2020. This also applies to parties that are registered for the Dutch Parliament’s Second Chamber election of 2017.If a party wishes to change the name under which it wants to participate in the election, the party must submit a change request to the Central Voting Bureau at the Unit Klantenloket of the Civil Registry (Census Office). The Registry has been authorised by decree to act as the Central Voting Bureau. However, registration remains mandatory if the party wishes to merge with another party that did not submit a valid list of candidates for the last held Island Council election in 2015, De Brabander explained.All political parties that will be taking part in the Island Council election must submit their candidates list no later than Monday, September 7, 2020 at the Unit Klantenloket. Parties of which the registration has been approved will receive the details of the requirements for submitting the list of candidates in August.Even after the Island Council election, Statia will still be under an administrative takeover by the Netherlands, which will strongly limit the power of Island Council members.