ST. EUSTATIUS–Island Councilman Nicolaas “Koos” Sneek’s trip to the Netherlands to speak with six political parties has prompted both the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and Government Commissioners Marnix van Rij and Alida Francis to refute claims that they support his trip.
PLP faction leader Rechelline Leerdam stated that she has taken note of the fact that Sneek, “according to him with the approval of the government commissioner, is presenting his own plan to institutions in the European Netherlands – including the House of Representatives and ministries – as if it were supported by the entire Island Council.”
Leerdam stated that the PLP was in no way involved in the preparation of this plan.
“We, PLP, imagine a lot in the cooperation with the European Netherlands on the basis of equality and transparency. Mr. Sneek’s way of acting is considered by us at best as not in good collegiality.”
Although the largest party after the recent Island Council election, PLP is above all a learning organisation, Leerdam stated. She said her party would like to learn from organisations and individuals who command respect through their words and deeds. “What has happened here does not seem to me to be an event from which we can learn.”
Leerdam said PLP is aware that collaboration is not a self-evident concept in the Island Council. “That applies not only to the Island Council, but also in the world around them. This does not detract from the fact that the PLP must always try to set a good example, certainly in the Island Council. The party expects to find such model or exemplary behaviour among all their colleagues in the Island Council. After all, the tone is set at the top.”
She said the PLP endorses this behaviour and has shown its goodwill since the installation of the Island Council and has met the opposition several times.
In reference to Sneek’s statement made in The Daily Herald in which he had claimed that the government commissioners supported his initiatives, Leerdam said that government commissioners should stand above the parties.
In her letter, which was also sent to the chairman and members of the Dutch Parliament’s Second Chamber Committee for Kingdom Relations, Leerdam wrote to “hope, and expect, to be able to coordinate further with you at the beginning of 2021. It will, of course, always be clear that we speak as PLP or on behalf of the entire (or partial) Island Council.”
The government commissioners meanwhile made it known that they did not endorse Sneek’s plan of action. They also refuted suggestions that they supported Sneek’s visit to the Netherlands and meetings with Dutch government officials.
The commissioners said on Friday that shortly after the Island Council election Sneek had requested a meeting with them to present his plan. This request was honoured and a meeting was held on November 9.
“It was during this meeting with Mr. Sneek that he informed the Executive Council of his plan to present his Plan of Action to parties in the Netherlands. The plan includes proposals that are recognisable, as there are elements that are currently being undertaken by the public entity St. Eustatius.
“Under the Restoration Provisions Act Public Entity St. Eustatius, the government commissioners are committed to their task to work with all members of the Island Council of St. Eustatius in an effort to realise the 12 criteria to ensure the gradual return of democracy,” the commissioners said.
Bron: Daily Herald