Prime Minister of Curaçao

Oct 11, 2010 | Tags: , , | Category: All, Leaders of Islands

Bernard Whiteman, Prime Minister of Curaçao (sworn in on Sept 1, 2015)

He was a Minister of Public Health, Environment and Nature since 31 December 2012 in the Asjes-Cabinet and the Hodge-Cabinet before taking the post, retaining the position after becoming prime minister.

 

Gerrit Schotte, Former Prime Minister of Curaçao

Gerrit Schotte, 1st Prime Minister of Curaçao

Gerrit Schotte, 1st Prime Minister of Curaçao

Netherlands Antilles was dissolved on 10 October 2010, resulting in two new constituent countries, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, with the other islands joining the Netherlands as special municipalities.

In the election of 2007, Gerrit Fransisco Schotte set a new political record on the island as a first timer on a voting list to be elected into Parliament with preferential popular votes since 1977. With 2,370 votes achieved, he also became the first non-party leader on the list of a political party to be elected with preferential votes. In addition, being only thirty-two years old at the time of the election made him one of the youngest elected Parliament members ever.

In the Parliamentary election of January 22, 2010, Gerrit Schotte again achieved a record-breaking 9,313 votes. He ran as the number 5 candidate on the Lista di Kambio slate – a union comprising the parties MAN, Niun Paso Atras (NPA) and Forsa Korsou (FK). Contesting only his second election ever, he achieved the highest number of votes ever in the history of the country as a candidate not in the number 1 position on a party slate. Furthermore, overall, he was the third largest vote getter of the entire election for the last Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles.

Just a few weeks before the election on August 27, 2010, of what would become the first Parliament of country Curaçao, Gerrit Schotte founded and launched the Movementu Futuro Korsou (MFK) on July 9, 2010, to breathe new life and inspiration for the future into the political arena of the island with the goal of development with the people, for the people, and by the people for a sound, healthy and secure Curaçao. Notwithstanding the short period before the election, MFK achieved an astounding 5 of the 21 seats of the future Parliament of Curaçao. Gerrit Schotte will be the Prime Minister of the incoming 9-member Council of Ministers.

Gerrit Schotte is hereby the fourth youngest person in modern history to ever assume the office of Prime Minister and, at 36, is the youngest Prime Minister currently serving in the world!

Early life
Gerrit Fransisco Schotte was born on September 9, 1974, to Hendrik Schotte, a dedicated teacher, and Maria Ruiz, a housewife, on the island of Curaçao. The name “Gerrit” means strength of the spear, rules with the spear, brave with the spear. The family name Schotte appears in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Gerrit is from the Dutch branch through his paternal grandfather.

His teachers at Johan van Walbeeck School and Peter Stuyvesant College supported the strict but loving education he got at home. Since he was a boy, he manifested a strong energy in accordance with his name. Led by that overflowing energy, he received in impressively little time the insignia of Wolf as a Cub Scout in Group 1 of the Boy Scouts. Between the age of five and eleven, he showed that overwhelming energy in the swimming team Bulado under the leadership of the technical trainer Siegfried Djaoen and the mental trainer/father Hendrik Schotte. He was awarded several medals here on the island as well as in Aruba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In addition, he discovered the importance of teambuilding and the constant upgrading of one’s goals.

Businessman
Later on he showed the dynamics of upgrading and reaching goals as a businessman when he founded The Shoppers (1995-2000), a purchasing office for all types of products. Thereafter, he founded and directed Bad Boyz Toyz N.V. , the Paintball Organization of Curaçao, and was a member of National Professional Paintball League (1997-1999). In 1998, an international paintball competition was held under the leadership of Gerrit in the Johnny Vrutaal stadium and was dedicated to the memory of past member Edward Plaate. Besides the different teams on Curaçao, teams from Aruba, Venezuela, several states of the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico also participated in the competition. Major media outlets on the island gave full coverage of the event and it appeared in international sports magazines as well.

Thereafter, Gerrit Schotte established and directed Food4U Delivery Service (2000-2002). The owner of the Lido Hotel Resort & Casino N.V. recognized his energy and drive and appointed him as General Manager of the hotel from 2001 to 2005.

In 2005, he successfully managed the public relations for the Caribbean area for the Planet Lebanon executives’ business conference. Sheikh Saad El Hariri showed full recognition for the preparation and coordination by Gerrit before and during this conference between the leaders of the Lebanese communities of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Colombia.

Politician
While still serving as the manager of the Lido Hotel he decided to become involved in politics and became a member of the political party Frente Obrero. He went on to cofound the political movement Movementu Patriotiko Kòrsou (MPK) with then Island Council member Rignald Lak and served as the President of that political movement.

After the forming of a new coalition on the level of island government, the board of his political movement MPK appointed him to serve as a Commissioner in the Executive Council of the island government. He became the Commissioner in charge of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Agriculture, Husbandry & Fishery (LVV), the Development Bank (Korpodeko), and the Gaming Control Board (GCB). He worked to give positive branding to the island as a destination and made several substantial advancements within the areas under his leadership during his ten months as Commissioner.

In the election of April 2007, Curaçao elected Gerrit Schotte with 2,370 votes, giving him a seat in the Curaçao Parliament until July 2011. He hereby set a new political record on the island as a first timer on a voting list to be elected into Parliament with preferential popular votes since 1977. He also became the first non-party leader on the list of a political party to be elected with preferential votes. This election also made Gerrit, then 32 years old, one of the youngest elected Parliament members ever.

In the following election of January 22, 2010, for the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles, Gerrit Schotte achieved a record-breaking 9,313 votes. Contesting only his second election ever, Mr. Schotte achieved the highest number of votes ever in the history of the country as a candidate not in the number 1 position on a party slate. Furthermore, overall, Mr. Schotte was the third largest vote getter of the entire election for the last Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles before the country Netherlands Antilles is dismantled on October 10, 2010, into countries Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the provinces Saba, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire. On March 26, 2010, Gerrit Schotte was confirmed in office by the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles together with 21 members of the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles.

Just a few weeks before the election on August 27, 2010, of what would become the first Parliament of country Curaçao, Gerrit Schotte founded and launched the Movementu Futuro Korsou (MFK) on July 9, 2010, to breathe new life and inspiration for the future into the political arena of the island with the goal of development with the people, for the people, and by the people for a sound, healthy and secure Curaçao.

Notwithstanding the short period before the election, MFK achieved an astounding 5 of the 21 seats of the future Parliament of Curaçao. On September 1, 2010, the parties that were forming the opposition before the election of August 27 signed a Declaration of Intention at the home of Gerrit Schotte wherein they declared to pursue formal conversations to form the government. On September 4, the three parties MFK, Pueblo Soberano (PS) and MAN formed the coalition and were sworn in for the island government.

On September 16, 2010, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, as representative of the Queen, appointed Gerrit Schotte as the leader of the biggest party in the coalition to form the incoming government of the new country of Curaçao on October 10, 2010. The Parliament of country Curaçao consists of 21 senators, and the Council of Ministers consists of 9 ministers, wherein Gerrit Schotte is the Prime Minister.

Gerrit Schotte is hereby the fourth youngest person in modern history to ever assume the office of Prime Minister and, at 36, is the YOUNGEST PRIME MINISTER CURRENTLY SERVING IN THE WORLD!