THE HAGUE–The First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, the Senate, will approve a small technical change to the law which regulates the registrar for the Electoral College for St. Eustatius, next week Tuesday. The law change was necessary because St. Eustatius has no Island Council since the Dutch intervention.
The Senate’s Permanent Committees for Kingdom Relations, Home Affairs and General Affairs, and the High Councils of State decided during a procedural meeting on Tuesday to forward the repair law proposal, prepared by the Dutch Government, for plenary handling. The law proposal will be approved as a formality next week Tuesday.
Senator Ruard Ganzevoort of the green left party GroenLinks asked about the position of the registrar of the Electoral College during the February 6 plenary handling of the emergency law proposal which set aside the St. Eustatius Island and Executive Councils due to task negligence.
In the original law regulating the Electoral Colleges in the Caribbean Netherlands, it is the Secretary of the Island Council who assumes the function of registrar of this entity which secures the election of the Members of the First Chamber.
Technically, however, without an Island Council in place, St. Eustatius no longer has an Island Council Secretary. The question remained who would assume the work as the registrar of the Electoral College, Ganzevoort noted early February. He suggested it would be a good idea to repair this technicality by law.
State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops agreed and promised to fix it. The amended law proposal of February 27 transferred the job of registrar of the Electoral College in St. Eustatius from the Island Council Secretary to the Island Secretary.
This will be the case as long as the Temporary Law Negligence of Tasks St. Eustatius is in effect and no new Island Council Secretary has been appointed. The Second Chamber already approved the amendment to the law as a formality on March 15.
The Electoral College elections take place on the same day as the Island Council elections. The next Island Council elections in the Caribbean Netherlands should take place on or near March 20, 2019. It is not entirely sure whether the 2019 Island Council elections will go ahead in St. Eustatius now that the Dutch Government has taken over the local government as a temporary measure.