Constitution & governance
Until 10 October 2010 the Netherlands Antilles formed together with Aruba and the Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Antilles, comprising the islands of Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, was an autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After a complex process of dismantling, the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist as from 10 October 2010. As a result of the dismantling process, Curacao and St. Maarten became independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands obtaining a status similar to the status which Aruba already has since 1986. The islands Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, often referred to as the “BES islands”, became public entities within the country of The Netherlands.
Bonaire has an Executive Council (Bestuurscollege) that is responsible for the day-to-day governance. The Executive Council is supported by a team of civil servants. The Executive Council governs the island and is subject to scrutiny by the Island council (Eilandsraad). The Island council is the representative assembly of the people. Elections are held every four years.