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New Parliament, Cabinet installed

page1b264page3a264WILLEMSTAD--Calling the occasion an historic one, Antillean Governor Frits Goedgedrag officially installed on Friday what are supposed to be the last Antillean Parliament and Central Government in light of the constitutional changes scheduled to take effect on 10-10-10.

As a result, the term of the Cabinet De Jongh-Elhage II and the new legislature will also be a short one of just over six months.

Goedgedrag reminded the Central Government administrators that agreeing on a new constitutional structure for the Netherlands Antilles had proved far from easy.

"There have been many obstacles along the way. Despite our best efforts, we have not yet been able to complete this process, but the new arrangements are nearly in place. Under the Philipsburg Accord, the members of the cabinet who have just been sworn in undertake to make themselves redundant in the near future. Instead of constitutional issues, our attention must once again focus on the welfare of the people of the islands.

"With a view to continuity, nearly all the members of the first Emily de Jongh-Elhage Cabinet are returning in the second. I look forward to renewing our partnership.

"I would like to thank those who will not take office in the new government and congratulate Mrs. de Jongh-Elhage and her second cabinet, wishing you strength and wisdom in carrying out the responsibilities to which you have been called: dismantling the Netherlands Antilles, creating the new constitutional entities and above all serving the interests of the people of the islands."

In his address to the members of Parliament, Goedgedrag emphasised that the term of this Antillean legislature would be brief, given the date planned for the constitutional changes.

"The Netherlands Antilles in its present form is as it were a legal entity in liquidation under your administration. Yet you have an important and weighty task before you.

"Both in The Hague and here in Willemstad you will have to debate the legislation needed to introduce the new constitutional statuses for the islands. Moreover, until those arrangements are in place you have a duty of care to the population of the Netherlands Antilles. I wish you wisdom and every success in carrying out this important responsibility."

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