Curacao announces vote on Dutch link

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2004, AMSTERDAM — Curacao is to hold a referendum next year on its constitutional ties with the Netherlands.

26 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — Curacao is to hold a referendum next year on its constitutional ties with the Netherlands.

The government on Curacao announced the vote will be held on 8 April.

Curacao is the largest of the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean. The other islands are Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (the Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin). The Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean island Aruba and the Netherlands form the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Under a treaty singed in 1954, the Netherlands Antilles has a national government based in Curacao's capital Willemstad. Defence and foreign relations are handled by The Hague. Each of the islands has its own local administration as well. 

Aruba ceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986. There have been also been moves in recent years by the other islands to redefine their constitutional ties.

Zita Jesus-Leito, Curacao's Home Affairs representative, said the island's population would be presented with several options next year.

Voters will be asked to choose between maintaining the current situation, total independence, a status aparte (a form of home rule), or for Curacao to have the status of a province of the Netherlands.

Three of the other islands have already held similar referendums. Sint Maarten voted for a status aparte in 2000 and Bonaire and Saba decided in referenda recently to seek to establish direct ties to the Netherlands. 

Sint Eustatius is expected to put the issue to a vote some time next year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, Netherlands Antilles, Curacao

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