Published On: Thu, May 23rd, 2013

The Constitution, The Country and Democracy are the overall Winners

Theo HeyligerPHILLIPSBURG - The overall winners with the resignations of the four Ministers on Tuesday are the Constitution, the Country, Democracy and the people.  Our institutions have prevailed, and the rule of law has prevailed.

With the tendering of the resignations, the Prime Minister was able to follow the procedures according to the laws of the land which entailed submitting the resignation of her entire Cabinet to His Excellency the Governor.  This is the legal democratic process that had to be followed from the very start when the National Alliance-led Government lost its support more than two weeks ago.   This is the same process that was followed when the United People’s (UP) Party lost its parliamentary support in April 2012, and the people can remember and recall that there was no stand off as the country unfortunately had to endure during these past two weeks.

The process that His Excellency the Governor has embarked upon with the consultations should have taken place two weeks ago with respect to forming a new government in line with the Constitutional requirements of the country.  The National Alliance unfortunately chose a path to create confusion and incite the public.

Some in our community must be reminded that the UP has been in opposition for a little over a year in parliament.  Three members of parliament withdrew their support from the National Alliance-led coalition, two from the Democratic Party and Independent MP Romain Laville.

The UP parliamentary faction could have chosen not to form a government and go for elections, but that was not the responsible thing to do.  Members of parliament are elected for a four-year term according to our Constitution, and if there is a possibility for form a Government, then that is the route that should be taken.

The public must not lose focus why the National Alliance-led government failed the people of this country after a little over a year.  The approach of the previous government lacked cohesion and professionalism, especially when it came to the operation of some ministries and also within the Council of Ministers.  Policies and plans must be aligned as individual minister’s work on further development of the country.  The writing was on the wall for several months and the UP raised some pertinent issues over the one-year period. 

William Marlin stated this week he is the most senior politician in Sint Maarten, having spent 26 years uninterrupted in the Island Council, nine years in the Parliament of the former Netherlands Antilles, also served as a member of the Executive Council and was Deputy Prime Minister as part of the Council of Ministers.  The next day he admits to the people of this country that he did break the law by knowingly submitting a decree on behalf of the Council of Ministers to His Excellency the Governor in contravention of the Rules of Order of the same body.  This is an issue that the people cannot ignore.

In the end the Constitution, the Country, Democracy, the rule of law, and the people have prevailed.  Now it’s time to get down to work and put a new Council of Ministers in place and a new President of Parliament in order to deal with the pressing issues of this country during the next 12 months before the next constitutionally due elections will be held.      

Theo Heyliger

Leader of the United People’s (UP) Party

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