Dutch Government intervenes in St. Eustatius due to abuse of power and intimidation
THE HAGUE, ORANJESTAD – Today, Undersecretary Knops (Kingdom Relations) has submitted a bill to the House of Representatives to be able to intervene administratively on St. Eustatius. The bill stipulates that the island council will be dissolved and the commissioners and acting lieutenant governor will be relieved of their duties.
A government commissioner is appointed who will provide for the administration of St. Eustatius. The intervention is a reaction to the report of the ‘committee of wise men’, who found “gross neglect of duties” on St. Eustatius. This task neglect is at the expense of citizens and businesses on the island.
The administrative situation on St. Eustatius has been a concern for some time. Previous measures to improve the situation have not had the desired effect.
The then Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has therefore set up a committee of wise men to map out the problems and make recommendations. The committee, consisting of Mr. F.J. Refunjol and Mr. J. Franssen, concludes that the administration of St. Eustatius has set itself outside the legal order.
The current administrative situation is characterized by lawlessness and financial mismanagement, but also by discrimination, intimidation, threats and insults, arbitrariness and the pursuit of personal power at the expense of the residents of St. Eustatius. The committee concludes that there is gross neglect of duties and advises administrative intervention by the Dutch government.
The government commissioner will perform all duties and powers of the island government. This will take until the government of St. Eustatius is able to fulfill its duties properly again. Only when that is the case, elections for a new island council will be held, so that a new government can take office.