VVD puts islands’ potential for independence in election prog..

The lib­eral democratic VVD party wants an “explicit clause” added to the Charter that enables Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius to leave the Dutch Kingdom if they want.

The VVD, the current largest governing party in the Netherlands, is plac­ing the independence of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom on the agenda of the November 22, 2023, par­liamentary elections, and in­cluded its stance with regard to the Kingdom in its draft election programme.

The short chapter Kingdom Relations in the programme contains three main points and focuses on good finan­cial management, strength­ening the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and “mod­ernisation” of relations.

“In the interest of the inhabitants, the govern­ments and public finances in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten require strength­ening. The same counts for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba where it regards the strengthening of the econo­my,” it is stated in the one-paragraph intro.

Under the heading “Strengthening the Carib­bean part of the Kingdom”, it is stated: “The strength­ening of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom must con­tinue. Together with Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, we work on good and de­cent governance, solid fi­nancial management, tack­ling corruption, sustainably reinforcing the economies and education.”

The paragraph “Financial solidity” states: “Reforms are not only necessary for the islands to stand on their own feet, but this also benefits the people on the islands. The autonomous countries have their own responsibility and must fi­nancially hold up their own pants. The Netherlands can offer support in the securing of quality of government, justice and finances.”

Under the heading “Mod­ernising relations”, it is stated: “Mutuality is the point of departure for rela­tions within the Kingdom. The conditions that Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten require of European Dutch persons who want to reside on the islands will also apply the other way around.”

It is further stated: “An ex­plicit clause will be included in the Charter that aside from Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten can also declare that they want to become in­dependent and as such have the right to leave the King­dom. Also, Bonaire, St. Eu­statius and Saba can decide to want to become indepen­dent.”

With the addition of the paragraph about the reci­procity of Dutch Europeans being able to reside on the islands, the law proposal of former Dutch Parliament Second Chamber Member Andre Bosman of the VVD seems to be back on the table. In 2016, the Second Chamber voted against Bos­man’s law proposal.

The 75-page VVD election programme titled “Give space, set boundaries” dedi­cates much attention to get­ting migration under con­trol, the subject that caused the fall of the Dutch govern­ment in July this year. The VVD members will decide on the election programme during the VVD member­ship congress on September 23.

The Daily Herald.

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