Gerrit Schotte is the Fmr. Prime Minister of the new country of Curaçao, which became autonomous in October 2010. Gerrit Schotte was the Prime Minister and as such the Minister of General Affairs in the Schotte Administration. Currently he is a active Political Leader and Senator of Curaçao.
Gerrit Schotte is the first Prime Minister of the new country Curaçao, which became autonomous on October 10th, 2010. As the former Prime Minister, he was also Minister of General Affairs in the Schotte-Administration from October 10th 2010 to September 29th 2012. He was one of the youngest Prime Ministers in modern history to assume office and one of the world’s youngest Prime Ministers serving at the time.
Gerrit Schotte acquired his first political experience as an advisor to the political party Frente Obrero. He entered the political arena in a more prominent way, when in 2005 with former Island Council member, Mr. Rignald Lak, he founded the political movement Movementu Patriótiko Kòrsou (MPK). He was then appointed Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs. During his term (February 2006 – December 2006), he managed to achieve tangible progress in the areas withinhis portfolio, including successfully branding Curaçao as one of the top Caribbean destinations.
In the first political election where Gerrit Schotte contended – the Island Council elections of April 2007 in which he participated as candidate number 7 for the political party MAN – he set a political record on Curaçao. At the age of 32 he was one of the youngest Island Council members elected to office, he was the first ever, first-time candidate – who received ballots at all official voting centers – to be elected to the Island Council by 2,370 preferential popular votes, while not being the party leader.
In the Parliamentary elections of January 2010, he received again a record-breaking number of votes, namely 9,313. He ran his campaign as the number 5 candidate on the “Lista di Kambio”, an election slate with a combination of the political parties MAN, Niun Paso Atras (NPA) and Forsa Kòrsou (FK). Contending in only his second election, he received the highest number of votes ever in the history of the Netherlands Antilles, while not being the party leader. Overall, he was the third biggest vote getter in the entire election.
On July 9th, 2010 – just a few weeks before the first Parliamentary election of Curaçao, held in the light of dismantling the Netherlands Antilles on October 10th, 2010, Mr. Schotte founded and launched his own political movement “Movementu Futuro Kòrsou” (MFK) which he then converted into a political party under the same name. His motifs to do so was to create new hope for the people through drastically change the political course. His primary objective being the sustainable development of Curaçao by and for the people of Curaçao, which had to result in a sound, healthy and secure nation. Notwithstanding the short period for campaigning before the elections, MFK received an astounding 5 of the 21 seats in the future Parliament of Curacao, thus becoming the second biggest party.
On September 3rd, 2010 the Movementu Futuro Kòrsou with Pueblo Soberano and MAN formed a coalition government. On September 16th, 2010 the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, as representative of the Queen, appointed Mr. Gerrit F. Schotte – being the leader of the biggest party in the coalition – to form the incoming Administration of Curaçao as per October 10th, 2010. He successfully carried out this mandate and the first government of the country Curaçao – consisting of nine ministers – was sworn in on October 10th, 2010 with Gerrit Schotte as Prime Minister.
In honor of his outstanding achievements in politics, Mr. Schotte was awarded the degree of “Doctor Honoris Causa” in Political Science by the Caribbean International University in November 2010. On August 3rd, 2012 the Schotte Administration crashed because a Member of Parliament for the MAN Party and later on also a member of the MFK did not support the coalition any longer. Gerrit Schotte applied Article 53 of the Constitution and dissolved Parliament. New elections were held on October 19th, 2012.
Gerrit Schotte and his party MFK grows during the elections of October 19th, 2012. Schotte gets 13,512 personal votes, while the party as a whole obtains 18,450 votes, which means a total of five seats. MFK then, along with PS which also achieves five seats are the two biggest parties of Curaçao. On November 2nd, 2012 Gerrit Schotte is sworn in as Member of Parliament, as well as four other MFK members.
In December 2012 Gerrit Schotte launches the campaign for “REFORMA” with the slogan “Un Miho Kòrsou ta posibel” (A better Curaçao is possible). Because the electoral system in Curaçao allows Members of Parliament who have received but a few hundred votes, to take along their seat to another party and in this way cause the government in office to crash, Gerrit Schotte is convinced that REFORMS should be introduced in Curaçao on all fronts, including the electoral system. In six months’ time REFORMA becomes a point of discussion at national level. Several political parties in Curaçao support the initiative. On April 30th 2014 – Gerrit Schotte now seen by many people as the REFORMADÓ (the reformer) – aims to collected over 350,000+ signatures. With these petitions Schotte advocates for a referendum to realize the reforms he deems necessary for Curaçao.
Gerrit Schotte was born on September 9th, 1974 in Curaçao. His father, Hendrik Schotte, is a dedicated teacher and his mother, Maria Ruiz, a loving homemaker. Already at a young age Gerrit was blessed with an incredible energy and drive. Both parents supported him and encouraged him to excel at whatever he would focus on. Early on he discovered his passion for teambuilding and recognized the value and importance of each individual. Never satisfied with the status quo, he continuously set higher goals for himself and others, while recognizing and considering each person’s individual personality and talents. As a result, he was often selected by his peers to lead them to successful performances. These qualities still personify Gerrit Fransisco. Schotte. While he regrets having dropped out of high school, the experience he gained, and the skills he developed during that time have proven to be priceless assets. His energy, drive for excellence, his entrepreneurial and managerial skills led him to successfully establish and manage “The Shoppers”, a purchasing and import office (1995-2000), and “Bad BoyzToyz”, the Paintball Organization of Curaçao. “The International Paintball Competition”, organized by Schotte in 1998, in memoriam of Edward Plaate, was an internationally acclaimed success. He went on to found “Food4U Delivery Service” (2000-2002). Due to his unparalleled drive, he was very soon recruited as the general manager of the Lido Hotel Resort & Casino NV (2001 to 2005).
In 2005, Gerrit successfully managed the “Caribbean Public Relations Department” for the “Planet Lebanon Conference” with as subject: business leadership. The conference was attended by amongst others, the leaders and businessmen of the Lebanese communities in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia.
THE GERRIT SCHOTTE FOUNDATION
On September 9th, 2009 the Gerrit Schotte Foundation (Fundashon Gerrit Schotte) launched a social project consisting of two mobile units staffed with coordinators and equipped with laptops, Internet facilities and printers. The mobile units wereare stationed in different neighborhoods on a weekly basis. The objective is to provide children in lower income families with free access to the Internet, enabling them to do research for educational projects. Convinced of the need, Schotte began to implement his plans of leading the community to progress. Recognizing the global environmental issues, the facilities (computers, printers, air conditioners and other appliances) in the mobile units run exclusively on solar energy. Both units are fitted with solar panels and run completely “off the grid” (independently of the local electricity utility).
Expanding the scope of this social project, the Gerrit Schotte Foundation launched another educational initiative on February 2nd, 2010. In the offices at Hanch’i Snoa, Punda, and later on in the offices at Lindberghweg, children of lower income families can receive free homework guidance, and assistance in developing learning skills from experienced teachers.
The island covers an area of approximately 444 km2.
Currency: Dutch – Antillean guilder.
Official languages: Papiamento and Dutch.
The port of Willemstad is an essential part of the island’s economy. Ships on one of the main maritime routes from the Panama Canal touch the harbor of the island and there is a refinery and there are shipyards of the Panama type, which include the largest dry dock in the region, as well as a major container transshipment hub and free zone. Curacao’s main industry is the refining of crude oil imported from Venezuela. The refinery on the island has an installed capacity of 320 thousand barrels per day, making it the third largest refinery in the Caribbean. Service sectors such as tourism and banking are other pillars of its economy, for they employ the largest percentage of the population.