Published On: Wed, Aug 20th, 2014

Workgroup to iron out details of Kingdom Dispute Committee

Parliaments sxmWILLEMSTAD, PHILLIPSBURG - The Daily Herald from Sint Maarten reports that a workgroup will be established by the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to outline how they envision the establishment and functioning of an independent Kingdom dispute committee/institution to which the countries in the kingdom can seek advice on kingdom laws or instructions they perceive as an infringement on their autonomy.

The dispute committee is at present likened to a Constitutional Court. The workgroup will outline how the committee will be formulated, how members will be appointed and how it will be funded. No timeline was given as to when the Parliaments want the dispute committee to be in place. Parliament representatives only emphasized the urgent need for such a body and the need for negotiations with the Netherlands Members of Parliament to get the committee in place.

The Presidents of the three Parliaments as well as the chairmen of the Parliaments' Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations signed two motions related to the establishment of the dispute committee as called for by the Statute of the Dutch Kingdom and agreed to on several occasions at meetings of representatives of the four parliaments.

The motions were signed in Parliament House Tuesday morning and were a result of an intensive in camera tripartite meeting chaired by St. Maarten Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations Committee head MP Roy Marlin on Monday afternoon. The motions will be up for ratification by the three parliaments with the specific call for "a binding resolution" on the establishment of the dispute committee.

MP Rene Herdé, head of the Aruba Parliament Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations, who is one of the staunchest advocates for the dispute committee, said prior to the signing that Aruba is not interested in interfering in the internal matters of the individual countries. The independent body will be focused on the issues between countries, especially those involving the kingdom government and from which all decisions should be clear and concise.

MP Roy Marlin (Democratic Party) expects "an uphill battle" with Dutch counterparts to get the dispute committee established. It was easy to get the representatives of the three Dutch Caribbean Parliaments together "to hammer out the two motions in one afternoon."

The establishment of the dispute committee will also be placed on the agenda of the January 2015 Parliamentary Contact Meeting slated for Aruba.

The representatives of all the Parliaments expressed their support for the establishment of the dispute committee and the need for respect of the countries' autonomy as guaranteed by the Statute of the Kingdom.

The urgent tripartite meeting, requested by Aruba, and the motions stem from two specific actions in the past year by the Kingdom Government. The first action was in September 2013 when the Governor of St. Maarten was instructed by the Kingdom Government to carry out an integrity investigation into Government and the second was the recent instruction to the Aruba Governor not to sign the country's 2014 budget into law.

Source: The Daily Herald

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