Published On: Wed, Oct 1st, 2014

UP: No Dutch politician can or will determine who governs St. Maarten

Theo HeyligerPHILLIPSBURG - The board of the United Peoples Party (UP) strongly believes that the recent rhetoric of the liberal democratic VVD party and Socialist Party (SP) in the Netherlands is exactly that, rhetoric, but nonetheless infringes on the fundamentals of St. Maarten’s Parliamentary democracy.
The people have clearly spoken and the support our party and its leadership serves testimony to the confidence the people of St. Maarten have in our leader. Their voice must be respected. The people did not vote for Dutch MP’s. No Dutch politician will determine who governs St. Maarten, our people have that say and our Governor, appointed by the crown, sees the process through,” the UP Board stated.

There have been the numerous integrity and corruption cases that Dutch political parties have had to deal with in the past two years alone. Provincial Councillors hired themselves as their own party workers, Mayors falsified taxes and party deputies have been convicted of corruption, money laundering and fraud for arranging kickbacks. Why is it that in the Netherlands their political parties, commissions and the legal system are allowed to execute due process while the same, in the opinion of a few, is not applicable for St. Maarten?

In the first instance corruption has to be proven under rule of law and integrity accusations justified. There will be no witch hunt simply because two Dutch MP’s said there should be. These views by certain Dutch MP’s are undemocratic and by calling St. Maarten a banana republic is an insult to all St. Maarteners and the solid foundation of hard work and sacrifice this country has been built on.

St. Maarten continues to be confident in carrying out the integrity program and that the majority of the recommendations of all three integrity reports, the PwC report, the report that the Wit-Samson Committee drafted in July this year and the integrity report of St. Maarten's General Audit Chamber, would be implemented.

These sorts of superficial comments by certain Dutch MP’s who are not solution oriented serves no purpose other than catering to their base and garnering colorful headlines. We have seen this before throughout the Kingdom by the same Dutch MP’s, who, as their statements betray, do not see us as equal partners.
The incoming Council of Ministers and Parliament of St. Maarten must be given the opportunity to govern our autonomous country without attempts of distraction, childlike insults and character assassination attacks by external influence. These are serious times and our people expect serious solutions from the UP which we will deliver. Our people do not expect us to be distracted by Dutch MP’s practicing willful ignorance.

While we look forward to a solid working relationship with the Netherlands and further identifying many areas of cooperation, St. Maarten will defend its right to govern autonomously and will not accept blatant forms of interference by any Kingdom partner.

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