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Aruba To Form Coalition Government

April 17, 1998

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) _ Two of Aruba’s three political parties have agreed to form a coalition government, ending seven months of political instability.

The Aruba People’s Party and the Aruba Liberal Party agreed to renew the same alliance that governed the Caribbean island until September, when they split over disagreements including a new law allowing Aruban citizens to be extradited for trial in the United States.

Five Arubans face extradition on charges ranging from racketeering to laundering of drug money, including two cousins from the influential Mansur family.

Liberal Party leader Glenbert Croes said he was making the extraditions a ``crucial discussion point″ in Friday’s agreement. But his party decided to join the People’s Party to avoid holding what would have been the island’s third elections in four years.

In December elections, voters elected 10 legislators from the People’s Party, nine from the People’s Electoral Movement and two from the Liberal Party. The parties expressed optimism on Friday that they could hold together their coalition this time.

Aruba, a popular vacation island off the coast of Venezuela, is an autonomous member of the Netherlands.

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