Elections in the Netherlands and Curacao

The Dutch 3-day election marathon came and went. Congratulations to Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD, the most successful and longest governing head of state in The Netherlands, who must be a brilliant strategist, having emerged from the Toeslagenaffaire, the scandal that brought down his coalition government not too long ago, when the Dutch Tax department was proven to have gone after immigrants for so-called receiving undue funds, which revealed a bit of a discriminatory attitude.

Rutte and his government resigned for ‘having failed to protect their constituents from false accusations,’ and it was a brilliant move, because the scandal didn’t even make a dent in Rutte’s popularity, which is good for Aruba!

It means the Dutch open purse-strings policy remains.

Relief.

It is Rutte’s fourth consecutive victory as the biggest party, having gained seats in the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).

The worrisome trend of right wing parties gaining support has been reversed.

Elections across the pond just brought the MFK party again to the forefront, in Curacao, when an unexpected number of people, 23,559 voters, got behind party-leader Gilmar Pik Pisas, to the utter surprise of the island’s current, now outgoing MinPres, Eugene Rhugenaath.

I know very little about politics in Curacao, but they just experienced a political upheaval, a landslide.

By tradition, a great number of just-formed parties join the political race in Curacao, this year 15 landed votes in the parliamentary elections, last week.

An already announced coalition agreement between MFK and PNP promises to renegotiate the agreement signed with the Dutch in 2020.

That was a big election issue and we don’t yet know what the Dutch kingdom will do or say, except that the Secretary of State congratulated the winners and expressed his wish for continued cooperation.

Covid-19 has been ravaging the island and the pace of vaccinations is slow, while new measures were announced this weekend.

Yesterday, Curacao identified 158 new positive cases at 25% positivity rate.

Stress is showing.

The hospital there announced yesterday that it was suspending all routine operations and was dealing just with emergencies for two days, for fear of overwhelming the CMC medical center, with 11 patients in Intensive care and 12 in the Covid ward, including 4 Bonairians who were sent for treatment in Curacao, because Bonaire ran out of space and couldn’t handle the demand.

The hospital bulletin reports that patients are younger, between 30 and 40, perhaps because of the British variant, making the rounds in Curacao.

 

 

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March 22, 2021
Rona Coster