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Ex-Curacao Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte left the government offices of Fort Amsterdam Sunday night after locking himself inside as a protest to an interim cabinet being formed 3 weeks out until elections. He and his party, the MFK, paraded around Salina area, before arriving at a press conference to address his followers.

While the international press reported Schotte’s statements that the situation in Curacao amounted to a “coup d’etat”, the streets of Willemstad were largely quiet yesterday, and this reporter would estimate that perhaps only 100 people rallied around Schotte and attended the press conference.

Former Prime Minister of Curacao Gerritt Schotte Addresses Press Conference. Photo by Karen Attiah

After a self imposed lockdown in government headquarters in Willemstad, the former Prime Minister of Curacao Gerrit Schotte of the Curacao Future Movement (MFK) party returned to his party’s offices in the Salina area to address his party supporters. Schotte has been quoted by the international media as saying that the formation of an interim government less than three weeks to the Curacao parliamentary is nothing less than a “coup d’etat”.

In an exclusive interview “As the Prime Minister of Curacao I was in the Fort {Amsterdam]  for the last two days. There was an interim cabinet that was installed on Saturday in a non-constitutional way. We were in the government palace since saturday and we left tonight.”

Schotte and other members of his party held a press conference to address their grievances against the current government, over garcinia cambogia extract tea, including alleging that members of his senate were offered bribes. Before arriving to the press conference, Schotte paraded around the Salina area with local party supporters clad in all white, complete with chants, party songs, banners and honking horns.

Schotte still believes that what the government has done amounts to a coup d’etat. “When you bend all the rules– constitutional rules that exist, to gain power, government power, that is a coup d’etat. Its twenty days before elections, there’s no reason to put an interim cabinet. That cabinet agenda is obviously to try to change the situation–the polls. Everything indicates that this government has gained more support, and more confidence”.

Despite Schotte’s claims in the media that he was the victim of a bloodless coup, the scenes at Fort Amsterdam, MFK headquarters, and in the streets of Willemstad were largely quiet Sunday afternoon into evening. Business, which is mostly tourism, was going on as usual. The MFK press conference, was attended by at most ninety people people. Local Curacaoan blogger and journalist Jermain Ostiana (@Sablikatriumph) remarked on Twitter: “Declaring “coup” to int. press but you can’t mobilize 500 supporters to protest is why ppl don’t take MFK MAN [Schotte] serious.”

On August 3rd, Schotte dissolved his cabinet and called for the early elections to be held October 19th.

Schotte says that his plans for the next two weeks include massive movements on the streets and neighborhoods and to consolidate the “sympathy” for MFK. He plans to go caravan at least two neighborhoods everyday in Curacao for the next weeks. Schotte says that social media plays a large role in his campaigning. “We are innovative, and that is the way we govern. In 2010 when I created the MFK seven weeks before the election date, social media was one of the tools I used. I think today I am one of the only politicians that is on Instagram. We have applications specially made for our Facebook fan page. We have several apps, and Tweet gadgets that are integrated in our system. The penetration of internet in Curacao is over 50% so it is a great way to reach voters.” Schotte also said that his campaign team uses BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to reach thousands of of potential voters.

MFK Supporters Parade in Curacao. Photo By Karen Attiah