Yesterday, a recount took place in Aruba as to whether there may have been any errors in the initial counting of votes that gave the present ruling party MEP control. All parties were present today to watch the one by one hand count and although some votes were thrown out due to ink spots.
According to sources is Aruba, the recount came about as one of the smaller parties “Real Democracy,” a satellite of AVP was only 20 votes short of a seat which would have given the ‘opportunity’ to coalition with AVP, MPA and RED and win the election. A change of 20 votes one way or the other would have made the drastic difference in a MEP controlled government or a coalition one. 20 votes.
Doesn’t this sound familiar to the Presidential election of 2000 and Florida recount? By looking at some of the votes that were actually not considered, yes it does remind me a little of the chaos that was the Florida recount. For an island the size of Aruba and for what was at stake it was a pretty close comparison. However, the Aruban Parliamentary election recount does not change results, MEP retains leadership with 11 seats. As reported by Aruba Today:
Aruban Parliamentary election recount does not change results MEP retains leadership with 11 seats ORANJESTAD – On Wednesday, a recount of last week’s September 23rd election votes was made in the presence of the leaders of all of the political parties concerned. Each vote was inspected for accuracy and blemishes. Any vote that had the slightest concern was thrown out of the overall count. The recall was made on the basis of a very close win of a seat in one of the newest parties joining the political arena. Other reasons were made and quickly disproved, but the recount concession was made to reinforce the accuracy of the Aruban electoral process. As a final result, MEP lead by Prime Minister Nelson Oduber remains with 11 seats, AVP lead by Mike Eman remains with 8 seats, MPA lead by the 1st female party leader Monica Kock Arends and RED lead by Father Lampe each remain with one for a total of 21 parliament seats. President of the electoral commission Hubert Maduro told Aruba Today that the vote counting system of Aruba is virtually error free. The only votes that were discarded in the recount were most likely made by elderly or those touching candidates with a pen mark either by accident or a personal system for making a decision, but clearly making a choice with a mark filling the space required.
One does speculate if these votes had changed and the “Real Democracy” candidate had won forcing the Aruban government to formulate a coalition government how this would have changed the perception and handling of the Natalee Holloway case and the PR campaign of any potential and alleged boycott? There is a big difference between one party rule with 11 seats and having to appease a coalition who may have many other different views and ideas. With the final election results in and MEP declared the victor, we will never know that answer either.