The Hague welcomes Antilles PAR victory

Deputy Minister Anke Bijleveld for Kingdom Relations has welcomed news that the governing PAR party of the Netherlands Antilles has won Friday’s parliamentary elections, paving the way for territorial reform.

Ms Bijleveld has congratulated PAR leader Emily de Jongh-Elhage on her victory. PAR favours a Dutch government plan to break up the Antilles as a separate political entity on 10 October.

From that date, the Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten will become autonomous territories within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius will become special municipalities of the Netherlands. Aruba already is an autonomous territory. The deputy minister expects the whole process to be completed before the scheduled date of 10 October.

The plan seems certain to go ahead as the parties backing it are set to take at least 14 of the 22 seats in the Antilles parliament. The opposition, which lost the ballot despite favourable prognoses, opposes the plan as a form of recolonisation.

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