BBC Caribbean
April 8, 2004

Curacao meeting to decide PM's fate

The caretaker government of the Netherlands Antilles in Curacao is poised to hold an extraordinary session to decide on the fate of Prime Minister Mirna Louisa Godett.

Mrs Godett resigned on Tuesday a day after her coalition collapsed.

Four parties withdrew support for the government after Justice Minister Ben Komproe ignored requests for his resignation after several parties accused him of giving special favours to a political donor convicted of corruption.

Mr Komproe announced his resignation late on Tuesday at a special parliamentary session but legislators decided to go ahead with a scheduled no-confidence vote and forced him out.

Two other government ministers also submitted their resignations.

Vice-Premier Errol Cova is now seeking clarification from the governor on whether replacements can be nominated for the position of prime minister and other ministerial posts left vacant by the resignations.

Workers Liberation Front leader Anthony Godett the brother of prime minister Mirna Godett has called for fresh elections. But the former prime minister Etienne Ys said elections should be a last resort.

Dutch-appointed Governor Frits Goedgedrag is now scheduled to consult all political parties on whether to reform the government with a new coalition or hold new elections.

Since taking control of the government last year, the Workers Liberation Front has struggled to keep its coalition intact.

Partners have repeatedly threatened to leave because of various ministry appointments and the government's handling of the territory's debt of 4.6 billion Netherlands Antilles guilders (US$2.5 billion).

The latest defections have reduced the coalition from 13 to just five of 22 seats in the Curacao-based Parliament.