Whiteman-cabinet tenders resignation

WILLEMSTAD–Curaçao Prime Minister Ben Whiteman (PS) has tendered his cabinet’s resignation to Governor Lucille George-Wout after the PS/PAIS/PNP/Sulvaran government did not manage to re-establish majority backing in Parliament.

Whiteman was only Prime Minister for a month. His predecessor Ivar Asjes had been asked to step down by his own “Pueblo Soberano” (PS) party.

On Friday the 11-seat coalition lost its minimal majority in the 21-seat legislature when PAIS-fraction member Marilyn Moses became an independent parliamentarian and withdrew her support for the Council of Ministers. Up to Monday afternoon the coalition partners had been trying to glue the government back together by adding PAR.

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However, the two-seat opposition party demanded two cabinet members and the departure of controversial Minister plenipotentiary in The Hague Marvelyne Wiels. It soon became clear that her party PS would not pay that price.

So it looks like Curaçao can prepare for early elections in February or March. That is half a year earlier than planned.

It would be the first time that Curaçao’s voters can decide on a new composition of Parliament, since the assassination of PS co-founder Helmin Wiels in 2013. The party is scheduled to choose a new political leader on December 12.

Wiels’ party had won the elections in October 2012 and he was able to earn 18 per cent of the total votes on his own. After his death parliamentary fraction member Ivar Asjes with support of Helmin’s sister Marvelyne became prime minister.

The Asjes-cabinet took office in May 2013, not long after the murder of Wiels. The new government was not very popular, because during two years it had to mainly execute budget to balance the books and put the country’s public finances in order.

Some see a strong comeback of former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte (MFK). He still has quite a following on the island, despite being the subject of criminal charges.

The current opposition leader is suspected of corruption, money laundering and forgery. It now looks as if elections may take place before the court case is finalised and he can possibly be sentenced.

Source: The Daily Herald Whiteman-cabinet tenders resignation

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