Mr. Gerrit Fransisco Schotte is the first Prime Minister of the new country Curaçao, which became autonomous on October 10 th , 2010. As the current Prime Minister, he was also Minister of General Affairs in the Schotte-Administration from October 10 th 2010 to September 29 th 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.
Mr. Gerrit F. 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 within his portfolio, including successfully branding Curaçao as one of the top Caribbean destinations.
In the first political election where Mr. Gerrit F. 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 in 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,
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 9 th , 2010 – just a few weeks before the first Parliamentary election of Curaçao, held in the light of dismantling the Netherlands Antilles on October 10 th , 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 3 rd , 2010 the Movementu Futuro Kòrsou with Pueblo Soberano and MAN formed a coalition government.
On September 16 th , 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 10 th , 2010. He successfully carried out this mandate and the first government of the country Curaçao – consisting of nine ministers – was sworn in on October 10 th , 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 3 rd , 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 19 th , 2012.
Gerrit Schotte and his party MFK grows during the elections of October 19 th , 2012. Schotte gets 13,512 votes, while the party obtains a total of 18,450 votes, which means five seats. MFK then, along with PS which also achieves five seats are the two biggest parties of Curaçao.
On November 2 nd , 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 Mihó Kòrsou ta posibel” (A better Curaçao is possible). Because the electoral system in Curaçao allows Members of Parliament who have received only 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 December 31 st 2013 – Gerrit Schotte now seen by many people as the REFORMADÓ (the reformer) – aims to collect 50,000 signatures. With these petitions Schotte advocates for a referendum to realize the reforms he deems necessary for Curaçao.
Gerrit Schotte and his political party MFK participated again in the elections of October 5 th 2016. Schotte received 8.854 votes, whilst the MFK got 12.573 votes, good for a total of 4 seats in the Parliament. MFK, MAN and PAR, that also reached 4 seats, resulted in the 3 major political parties in Curacao. MAN and PAR together with 2 minority parties formed the Government. The reigning period of this new Government was from December 23 rd 2016 to February 12 th . 2017, because they lost their majority of seats in the Parliament. MAN as the leading party in the
Government applied Article 53 of the Constitution of Curaçao and with the blessing of the Governor of Curaçao called for new elections to be held on April 28 th . 2017, even though there was a majority in the Parliament to form a new Government.
From the 24 th . of March till the 29 th . of May 2017, MFK formed a demissionary Government in Curaçao together with PS, KDnT and 2 independent members of the Parliament. In the elections of April 28 th . 2017 Gerrit Schotte received 8.888 votes in his name whilst MFK got a total of 15.706 votes good for 5 seats in the Parliament resulting in the third biggest political party in Curaçao. On May 5th. 2017 Gerrit Schotte was sworn in as member of the
Parliament together with 4 other candidates of MFK.
Gerrit F. Schotte was born on September 9 th , 1974 in Curaçao. His father, Henry 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 F. 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 9 th , 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 are 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 2 nd , 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.
Curaçao is now an autonomous territory of the Netherlands. Until October 2010 it was a part of the Netherlands Antilles.
Its capital is Willemstad.
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.