Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coup in Curaçao may want to prevent elections

There are contradictory interpretations on whether it is a coup or a legitimate democratic act with the blessings of the colonial power (Netherlands) and the secret service but the facts on the ground of the South American island are quite straightforward:

On August 3rd PM Gerrit Schotte dissolved Parliament and called for new elections after he lost the support of the majority. 

The elections are schduled for October 19th. 

On September 29th, the dissolved Parliament gathered and deposed Schotte, appointing a new interim Prime Minister, Stanley Betrian, who was sworn not by the actual Governor General, Frits Goedgedrag, but by some acting governor Adeel van der Pluijm-Vrede (Goedgedrag is allegedly hospitalized overseas[nl] but according to Schotte, he left the country after first attempting to stage the coup himself).

Schotte and his government have denounced this as a coup because, in agreement with the constitution, the dissolved parliament cannot gather, much less replace the Prime Minister. He has accused the secret services of being behind the coup, which he thinks is an attempt to sabotage the upcoming elections.

The Schotte cabinet refuses to abandon government buildings, while some people protests outside. They have suspended all the powers of the secret service, previously involved in other scandals.

I do not have a clear stand (not enough information yet) but I do fear and reject any attempt to prevent the people speaking out freely in elections. 

Curaçao is a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, whose main language is Papiamentu (a distinct creole language based on Portuguese with diverse other influences, specially African ones), Dutch being co-official (but commonly spoken by a small minority only). In recent years it attained quasi-independence in all but foreign relations and defense, which are still in Dutch hands. The country is not part of the European Union but has an association treaty instead.



  1. It really comes down to personal beliefs as to whether it can be considered a coup or not. Traditional definitions have a coup d' etat as an an illegal and forceful attainment of power by a minority faction (military or political). This was a replacement, interim government installed at the request of the majority of elected parliament members until elections on 19 October (as there were items being handled by the former prime minister without parliament supervision that were questionable). The biggest question seems to be if this is legal, but the question has already been reviewed by the parliament members, the Governor's office (who reports to the Queen) and the Dutch parliament.

    If you back MFK or PS (the parties previously in power), it is a coup. Everyone else sees it as a transitional government upto the elections to ensure continuity with public oversight.

    1. (Deleted double post below).

      A key question is can the dissolved parliament within the law act in any way? Apparently not or at least that is what Schotte and his backers claim.

      Another other key question is why wouldn't Parliament wait till elections. Why are these few days so important? No media explains that.

      Finally one wonders why reactionary institutions like the Dutch government and the secret services seem to be behind of this coup, or if you wish maneuver of more than dubious legality, that reminds to the coup of Honduras so much?

      Why not to wait for elections? Why to create such a crisis before them? It really smells very suspicious.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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