Saturday, May 16, 2009

End of months of debate in Curacao referendum.

'Yes' vote wins in Curacao
Voters in Curacao have chosen to accept the conditions under which the island will form a new constitutional relationship with Holland.

A referendum on Friday saw the ‘yes’ vote winning with 52 per cent of the votes cast against 48 for those against.

The turnout was 67 per cent of the 119 thousand people eligible to vote.

Curacao had negotiated for a ‘country status’ within the Dutch Kingdom, giving it direct relations with Holland as part of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles.

However, among the key conditions demanded by the Dutch government were; having a oversight over the island’s judicial and financial affairs in return for cancelling Curacao’s debt (to Holland) of around a billion dollars.

The ‘no’ campaign opposed that deal.

The victory for the ‘yes’ vote now means that the process of dismantling the Dutch Caribbean federation can continue towards the target date of 2010.

Curacao and St Maarten will each be accorded ‘country status’ but with Holland having final say on financial management and judicial issues.

The other islands – Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius – have agreed to be integrated into provinces in Holland.

The other Dutch Caribbean island, Aruba, opted for ‘country status’ in 1986 when it broke away from the Netherlands Antilles group.
Source: BBC Caribbean

I participated in a debate yesterday about the referendum, waiting the results in Amsterdam and was interviewed by the national radioprogram Dichtbij Nederland. (starting around 27 minutes)

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