Mendes de Gouveia appointed informateur in Curacao – Governor supports interim-cabinet

POSTED: 09/25/12 2:20 PM

WILLEMSTAD  – Governor Frits Goedgedrag has appointed Eduardo ‘Dito’ Mendes de Gouveia as formateur charged with the formation of an interim-cabinet. In a letter to the members of parliament, the governor declared the motions of no confidence the Group of Twelve passed on September 13 against all but two of the ministers in the Schotte-cabinet “as a legitimate decision by the majority of the parliament.”

Mendes de Gouveia, the former director of the Refineria di Kòrsou, has to report about his efforts to Governor Goedgedrag by Friday.

The governor instructed the formateur to examine the possibilities for a cabinet that has the support of the majority in the parliament and that consists of a small number of ministers.

The interim-cabinet will be charged with five main tasks: returning peace and quiet in the government in Curacao and in its relations with other countries in the Kingdom, preparing the October 19 parliamentary elections, initiating measures that lead to a return to the functioning of the democratic system as well as measures that return the financial and economic confidence in Curacao, and the preparation of measures that will guarantee a proper proceeding of the screening of candidate-ministers after the October 19 elections.

Governor Goedgedrag explained his decision in a four-page letter to members of the parliament. And while the governor does not engage in political discussions, his letter leaves little to the imagination. That the parliament has been unable to solve its own problems in a regular way in a public meeting, “not only places the governor in a position that is unusual from a constitutional perspective, but also damages the reputation of the parliament. That observation concerns me greatly,” the letter states.

The letter lays out in detail the events that followed the moment when the Schotte-government lost its majority in parliament after the departure of MPs Eugene Cleopa and Dean Rozier to the opposition. The key is the September 13 meeting the Group of Twelve held outside the parliament building whereby motions of no confidence were passed as well as a motion asking the governor to appoint a formateur.

The confidence-question, the governor’s letter states, “must be explicitly answered in the parliament” and arguments of a procedural nature should never lead to a situation whereby the wish of a majority is not executed.

“The thought that internal procedural rules of parliament, whatever the interpretation of those rules may be, could prevent a majority of the parliament to execute its rightful task, does not correspond with the basic principles of democracy and the principles of good governance.”

The governor furthermore noted that the parliament must meet to execute its constitutional tasks, also when the cabinet is in caretaker status,. “That this did not happen created an emergency situation whereby the majority of parliament manifested itself under its own authority. It is a fact that the decisions the eleven members of parliament took on September 13 reflect the explicit view of the majority in parliament. That view must be respected, in spite of possible procedural shortcomings. This decision process must be seen as a legitimate enforcement of parliamentary rights.”

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