Election Day In Aruba; Prime Minister and Parliament


Its Friday August 23, 2005, election day in Aruba. Arubans will chose a prime minister and all 21 seats in the parliament today. Presently the ruling party (MEP) has a 12-6 majority over the main opposition, the AVP in the single-house legislature.

The ruling party has a 12-6 majority over the main opposition, the AVP in the 19-09-2005 Aruba Todaysingle-house legislature. The rest are in the hands of two smaller left-of-center parties – the Patriotic Party of Aruba, which holds two seats, and the Liberal Organization of Aruba, which has one. Five smaller parties have no seats, and are not expected to pick up any in this election.

If the present ruling party, MEP, cannot hold on to at least 11 seats; they will have to form a coalition government with a collection of some of the smaller parties. That’s when politics and gamesmanship gets interesting.

I will say this, check out the actual percentage of people who participate in voting in Aruba.

 Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but it has full autonomy on most matters. Exceptions are defense, foreign affairs, and the Supreme Court. The constitution was enacted in January 1986. Executive power rests with a governor, and a prime minister heads an eight-member Cabinet.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Some of the key issues in this years elections will be focused on immigration and frustration over stagnant salaries lagging behind inflation.

Aruba’s population has grown by more than 50 percent since 1991 to more than 100,000 people – an increase fueled in part by immigrants from Venezuela and Colombia who were encouraged to come by the government to fill service sector jobs. The influx has caused some friction, especially in the schools, where students increasingly only know Spanish in classes taught in Dutch. The AVP’s Sen. Oduber has called for a reduction in the number of new immigrants.

The immigration issue has been a hot button topic.

“We have a sufficient number of people on the island in terms of the number of jobs that are available, and I don’t think we should be bringing more people into Aruba,” Obduber said. “I’m not saying that the immigrants should be sent home.”

From the Boston Globe earlier this summer came the following tense dealings with the issue of immigration, crime and unemployment.

In an effort to curb crime and unemployment, the Dutch government has proposed deporting young people from the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba who neither have jobs nor are in school. “People come to Holland whenever the economy is bad or when they feel insecure,” Breeveld said. The government proposal, which came before Holloway’s disappearance, faces legal challenges because people from the islands — former colonies that remain part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands — are Dutch citizens. Islanders say the move is discriminatory and have vowed to fight it in court. But there is little security here for newcomers following the expulsion measure proposed last April by the conservative government of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Under the plan, young immigrants would have three months to find a job, enroll in studies or return home. The proposal, which is not in effect, was denounced by the Antillean parliament. Prime Minister Etienne Ys failed to budge Balkenende when he came to The Hague earlier this month, and left the meeting acknowledging he was “angry.”

The underlying issue that no one seems to want to discuss in this election that has to be on Aruban’s minds is the Natalee Holloway investigation and the possibility of a potential boycott due to the perception of the mishandling of the case. From the outside looking in, one wonders if Arubans will question how the present government has handled the investigation in the eyes of the world or rally around them with the threat of a potential looming boycott? Or whether they will even consider the matter at all and make all politics local?

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Natalee Holloway Weekend Posts
  • Amigoe: Conference tourism; new for Aruba
  • “Aruba does not want Independence; We cannot handle that”
  • The Face of Aruba … Joran Van der Sloot, “Give Natalee Back to her Country & Family”
  • Americans Selling Second Homes in Aruba … Morgage Crisis in US Hits Aruba

  • Comments

    5 Responses to “Election Day In Aruba; Prime Minister and Parliament”

    1. sylvia on September 23rd, 2005 9:20 am

      I hope all new people are voted in so that Natalee Hollaway will be found and the 2 Van Der Sloots and the 2 Kalpoe brothers will be back in jail for keeps. The people that are in office now seem to care more about these 4 people than they do about their country. Americans are not going to vavation in Aruba until Natalee is found and these 4 are prosecuted. Arube is not safe with the people that are in charge now.

      Aruba take charge and finf Natalee.

    2. Mezcal on September 23rd, 2005 4:14 pm

      There would not be a misperception in how the case is handled if some of the so called reporters actually started reporting. This means to check out rumors before calling them true and stick to the facts for a change. Nobody denies that there have been made mistakes, but the call for a boycott is ridiculous. The assumption is that there is a cover up, but so far I haven’t seen one shred of evidence which proves that. All the “evidence” brought up by Mrs. Twitty has not been checked by anyone. The documents she claims to have in which Joran confesses to a crime is worthless. They put up a document, witnesses sign it and they tell him to sign it as well. He refuses, for whatever reason, and this is presented as evidence…? A tape on dr. Phill his show is supposed to make it clear that Joran and the Deepak’s had something to do with her disappearance? I never hear him say they had sex with her. I hear Skeeter asking the question and all of a sudden the sounds change, the voice is not so clear anymore and the only thing I can make out of it is “he did” or “we did”. It is so obvious that this tape hase been edited to make it look like something that would incriminate him, that no other news channel dares to touch it. Next to that it seems pretty strange to me that if this tape was in the posession of Mrs. Twitty for some time, that Dave Holloway never knew anything about it!
      The disappearance of Natalee is not an election issue, because everybody on Aruba knows that the police and every citizen on Aruba wants to find out what happened. Things may have gone sour a because some mistakes were made in the beginning of the case, but there is no way anybody wants to cover this up.

    3. Scared Monkeys on September 25th, 2005 9:42 pm

      Mezcal Says: The disappearance of Natalee is not an election issue, because everybody on Aruba knows that the police and every citizen on Aruba wants to find out what happened.

      You are correct. The part that makes it a political issue is the fact that there is talk of a boycott. Come on. Please tell me that those in Aruba and elsewhere understand that it could happen.

      I am not saying that I am for it, but I hope all will not be surprised if it does.

      If course its a political issue. A resulting boycott would cause such havoc that all of its citizens would be affected. Thus its political.

    4. Scared Monkeys » » Natalee Holloway Weekend Posts on September 26th, 2005 11:15 am

      [...] onkeys Some posts on Natalee Holloway and Aruba you may have missed over the weekend: Election Day In Aruba; Prime Minister and Parliament Searches Continue For Natalee Holloway in Aruba near Ca [...]

    5. Mezcal on September 26th, 2005 11:35 am

      There is not much that can be done about the call for a boycott. I don’t think an “official” boycott will ever happen, for the simple reason that Aruba is still Dutch territory and the US has a lot more to lose than just a nice place to spend a vacation. Besides that, I imagine that people like to see some checked out evidence of a cover up before jumping to any conclusions.
      If the US government would call for a boycott, than it would be political. So far, that is not the case and frankly I don’t think that is ever going to happen.

    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It