THE HAGUE, Oct. 19. (Xinhua) -- The parliamentary elections on the Caribbean island of Curacao have started on Friday morning, Dutch broadcast company NOS reported Friday.
Former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte is in the race to win the island's elections.
His rivals include former Netherlands Antilles Prime Minister Emily de Jonghe-Elhage, whose Party of the Real Alternative held eight seats in the last parliament.
Eight political parties put up candidates for Curacao's 21 member Parliament. Few people expect any party to win a majority of seats, meaning parties would have to bargain over forming a coalition to run the government for the next four years.
Schotte dissolved parliament and called elections after his governing coalition lost its legislative majority on Aug. 3. An interim government was elected under the lead of interim prime minister Betrian.
Schotte made international headlines in late September for locking himself inside his former government office over a weekend to protest the appointment of an interim administration.
Schotte called the installation of an interim government unconstitutional and insisted he should have been allowed to remain at his post until the election. He and supporters of his Movement for the Future of Curacao announced there had been a "coup."
Meanwhile, Dutch Minister of Internal affairs Liesbeth Spies told the press that she supported the interim government because it was "elected in a democratic way."
She also told the Dutch second chamber she does not want Curacao to step out of the Dutch kingdom.
The new government in Curacao will be faced with the tasks of fighting corruption and reducing the enormous budget deficit.
In 2010, Curacao became a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, after 52 percent of the voters supported these plans in a non-binding referendum held in 2009.
Other overseas territories linked to the Kingdom of the Netherlands are Aruba and Sint Maarten.