|Gerrit Fransisco Schotte
Former Prime Minister of Curaçao
Gerrit Fransisco Schotte (born 9 September 1974) is a politician from Curaçao, and the current leader of the Movementu Futuro Kòrsou (MFK). In the Curaçao general election of 27 August 2010, the MFK became the second largest party with 5 seats in the Island Council. MFK formed an island government together with Pueblo Soberano and Partido MAN on September 4. This coalition became the first Cabinet of Curaçao when the Netherlands Antilles was dismantled on October 10, 2010. Schotte at that point became the first Prime Minister of Curaçao.
Schotte was the first Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs of the new country of Curaçao, which became autonomous in October 2010. He is one of the youngest persons in modern history to assume the office of Prime Minister. On September 29, 2012, Schotte was succeeded by Stanley Betrian as interim Prime Minister after his resignation.
Early life and education
Schotte was born on the island of Curaçao on 9 September 1974, the son of Hendrik Schotte, a teacher, and Maria Ruiz. He did not complete his high school, but gained some entrepreneurial and management skills instead
Schotte first gained political experience as an advisor to the political party Frente Obrero (FOL). He became more active in politics when he, with a former member of the Curaçao Island Council, Rignald Lak, founded the political movement Movementu Patriotiko Kòrsou (MPK) in 2005. He was appointed as Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs (February – December 2006) in the Curaçao Island Council for MPK.
Schotte stood for election in the Island Council elections of April 2007 as candidate number seven for the political party MAN. He received 2,370 preference votes. At the age of 32, he was one of the youngest Island Council members. In the parliamentary election of January 2010, Schotte received 9,313 votes as candidate number five on the Lista di Kambi- an election slate with a combination of the political parties MAN, Niun Paso Atras (NPA) and Forsa Kòrsou (FK). Schotte received the highest number of votes for a candidate not a party leader in any election in the Netherlands Antilles. Overall, he had the third largest share of the votes in the entire election.
On 9 July 2010, Schotte founded Movementu Futuro Kòrsou (MFK). MFK received five of the 21 seats in the island council of Curaçao in the 2010 Curaçao general election, which became the Estates of Curaçao on 10 October 2010 upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.
On 3 September 2010, the parties MFK, Pueblo Soberano (PS) and MAN decided to form a coalition government. On 16 September 2010, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles appointed Schotte - as formateur for the incoming government of Curaçao per 10 October 2010. Schotte became prime-minister of the government in a 9-minister cabinet.
After Schotte offered the resignation of his cabinet to governor Frits Goedgedrag on August 3, 2012 parliament was dissolved. Until the elections parliament remains in function however, and after a majority in parliament requested the governor to form an interim cabinet until the elections, the governor appointed Eduard Mendes de Gouveia as informer who investigated the possibilities to form such an interim cabinet with a majority in parliament. On his advice, acting governor Van der Pluijm-Vrede (Goedgedrag was abroad for medical treatment) accepted Schotte's resignation which he offered in August, and appointed and swore in Betrian. Schotte however calls this a coup d'etat and initially refused to leave his post. A few days later, however, he left the government building and said to plan to prepare for the upcoming elections. Schotte is suspected by many of mafia ties, money laundering and misuse of public funds.
He founded “The Shoppers”, a purchasing and import office, (1995-2000), “Bad BoyzToyz”, a paintball store, and “Food4U Delivery Service” (2000-2002). He later became the general manager of the Lido Hotel Resort & Casino N.V. (2001 to 2005).
The Gerrit Schotte Foundation (Fundashon Gerrit Schotte) is active in community projects providing assistance to children in lower income families.