Published On: Mon, May 20th, 2013

MP’s demand better personal protection

ParliamentWILLEMSTAD -  Several members of Parliament are concerned about their safety. The promised security still remains to be seen. MP and leader of the political party MAN, Charles Cooper, pleads for every member of Parliament to be able to carry a gun.

“If Parliament is not able to ensure the safety of each MP, then we have to do it ourselves,” Cooper declared. He indicated that a meeting was held with all the faction leaders where they discussed the issue of carrying weapons. Politics on this island has changed forever after the murder of Helmin Wiels.

Apparently there are some sections of the population that no longer have respect for their representatives. The MP says that he still feels safe. “I’m not scared and feel safe,” Cooper stated.

“But I am on my guard. When I get somewhere I look around, I look in my car mirrors if I’m being followed.  When I’m in my house I look around. " Cooper indicates that Justice Minister Nelson Navarro is open to the idea that the members of Parliament should carry a weapon. There is no official declaration from the Minister yet.

At this time, the law stipulates that only Ministers, the Attorney General, Advocates General and senior officers may carry a weapon. Others, including MP’s, must submit an official request.

Just like Cooper, leader of the MFK, Gerrit Schotte belies that Members of Parliament should be able to carry a gun. “I have no problem with it provided they learn to shoot and pass a psychological test. But it is up to the Minister of Justice to make a statement about it,” Schotte declared.

On May 13, Schotte had sent a letter to the President of Parliament, Mike Franco about the safety of the MP’s. “In my faction there is uncertainty and also concern about the situation and the their safety,” according to Schotte.

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