A referendum on the future of the Dutch Antilles island of Bonaire has been cancelled.
The Governor of the Dutch Antilles, Frits Goedgedrag, decided to cancel the poll, because part of the population is barred from voting.
Under the current rules, European Dutch nationals are only allowed to vote if they came to live on the island before 1 January 2007.
The proposed formulation of the referendum question is also unclear, making it difficult for islanders to know what consequences their vote could have.
The decision has been taken on the advice of Bonaire’s lieutenant governor Glenn Thodé. Two weeks ago Mr Thodé called for the referendum to be cancelled because he thought it contravened international law.
Now the island council will have to convene to decide what to do next. The referendum was due to be held on 26 March.
The Dutch Antilles is due to be disbanded on 10 October 2010. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius will become municipalities of the Netherlands, while islands of Curacao and Sint Maarten will become independent states within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
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