GEORGETOWN, Guyana — At the invitation of the Netherlands, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is sending a small CARICOM electoral observer mission to monitor the general elections to be held in Curacao on 28 April 2017.
Following elections on 5 October 2016, and after being in office for just over seven weeks, the government of Curacao led by Prime Minister Hensley Koeiman collapsed on 12 February when the coalition lost its majority. The governor subsequently ratified the national decree of the Koeiman Cabinet to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections.
A four-member CARICOM observer group headed by Dr Steve Surubally, former chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, was due to arrive in Curacao on 25 April 2017 and will depart on 30 April 2017. The other members of the mission are experts in electoral management from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. A representative from the CARICOM Secretariat will support the work of the observer group.
For CARICOM, election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy. This is the first time CARICOM will be mounting an electoral observer mission to a third state. Curacao’s application for associated membership in CARICOM is an interest CARICOM heads of government have recognised.