Published On: Tue, Oct 21st, 2014

Heated tempers in the debate over instruction St. Maarten – Motion accepted to bypass the Governor

Parliament1WILLEMSTAD – “We need to call the Dutch to order.” This is according to the MP for the opposition party MAN today during the parliamentary debate on the instruction given to the Governor of Sint Maarten about the screening of the ministers in the new government for that island.

The designation means that a new government of St. Maarten cannot be sworn in before the candidate ministers have gone through a thorough screening. For this instruction, the Kingdom Council of Ministers made ​​use of the Regulations of the Governor, which makes it impossible for St. Maarten to go against the decision or appeal.

This morning, the action of the Kingdom Council of Ministers led to fierce criticism on the conduct of the Dutch government. Cooper declared to be angry on the whole state of affairs, in which the Dutch government had stepped on fundamental rights of the people of St. Maarten. “Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte thinks he can do whatever he wants here,” Cooper said. The MAN member stated that if he is ever in the same position as St. Maarten is right now, “blood will flow in this country”.

MP for the ruling party Pueblo Soberano (PS), Elmer Wilsoe emphasized in his speech that what is happening now, has nothing to do with a battle to take over Sint Maarten, but the issue here is to follow the correct procedure. The PS MP pointed out again that the Netherlands has used the Regulations of the Governor to interfere with the internal affairs of the island in the Caribbean by giving instructions to the Governor.

Referring to the instruction for St. Maarten, Wilsoe suggested that the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will have experts available to perform the screening of the candidate Ministers. The Netherlands will then determine who will be Prime Minister of Prime Minister, according to the PS MP.

He also announced a motion arguing that the Constitution should be amended so that the Governor, like the king in the Netherlands, will receive only a ceremonial function.

MFK leader Gerrit Schotte pointed to the fact that the Netherlands has no strict screening process as is the case in Curaçao. He stressed that the Members of Parliament should take a stand against the Netherlands and that the parties in Curaçao should indicate whether they are for Curacao or the Netherlands.

PAR MP Zita Jesus-Leito warned of saber rattling. She pointed out that hotheads in the Netherlands, but also in Curaçao are doing things that the people are not in favor of. The MP also noted the importance that everyone in the Kingdom carries its own responsibility and that everyone abides by the agreements.

At the end of the meeting a majority in Parliament passed a motion to bypass the Governor in the future in the matters of forming a government. This means that the Governor will have nothing to do with the formation of a government. This authority will be in the hands of Parliament.

This is only a motion. There was no information on what will happen with this motion. The factions which have voted for the motion are the ruling party PS and the opposition parties MFK and MAN.

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