New political leader leads party to victory in Curacao

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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao, Apr 29, CMC -The Partido Alternativa Real (PAR) led by its new political leader Eugene Rhuggenaath was Saturday declared the biggest winner following the preliminary count of the general elections held here on Friday.
The PAR received 18,362 of a total of 78,815 votes cast in the election that was observed by a four-member team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
It is the first time that Rhuggenaath participated in an election as leader of the party. The PAR was one of 11 parties that contested the poll, two less than the October 5th 2016 poll when three parties won four of the 21 seats in Parliament.
The PARTIDO (MAN) party of former prime minister Hensley Koeiman came in second with 16,071 votes.  The party placing third, is the current coalition partner MFK of Gerrit Schotte with 15,710 votes.
Other parties that have received enough votes for a seat in Parliament are Korsou di Nos Tur (KdNT) of the businessman Amparo dos Santos with 7,438 votes, Pueblo Soberano with 4,029 votes, PIN of former Minister of Traffic, Transportation and Spatial Planning Suzanne Camelia-Römer with 4185 votes and Movementu Progresivo (MP) of Dr. Marilyn Moses with 3885 votes.
For the first time one of the country’s oldest party the Partido Nashonal di Pueblo ( PNP) led by Humphrey Davelaar did not receive enough votes for a seat in Parliament. This will be the first time the party is not represented in Parliament since it was established about 70 years ago.
The preliminary results indicate that PAR will have 6 seats in the Parliament, with MAN and MFK five seats each, KdNT two seats, and PIN, PS and MP one seat each.
The 21 seats in parliament are chosen through the system of proportional representation. Parties already represented in parliament are admitted to the next elections. New parties must exceed a voting threshold in pre-elections. This threshold is stipulated by law as 1% of the number of valid votes in the previous elections.
Friday’s elections followed the collapse of the Koeiman government on October 5, 2016 after seven weeks. The cabinet fell on February 12, 2017.
Immediately thereafter, new elections were called for April 28th, 2017, to the disagreement of the new coalition installed on March 24 and led by the former prime minister  Gerrit Schotte.
On March 31, the Netherlands took control of the parliamentary election. But the interim government wanted to cancel the elections on April 28, but the Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, and the Kingdom Council of Ministers prevented this.
“It is of the utmost importance that the people of Curacao express themselves in free and fair elections about the future of the country. The actions of the interim cabinet have seriously affected the integrity of the electoral process. Therefore, the National Council of Ministers considers it necessary to give the Governor the power to ensure a proper course of the elections,” he declared.

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