SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of Parliament (MP) Luc Mercelina has declared himself an independent MP in the House of Parliament. The following statement was released on Sunday evening: “I am a servant of the people with St. Maarten first and foremost at heart. It pains me to see what our country is going through now politically but it also behooves me to do something about it as an elected representative of the people. The country is in a political vacuum that is doing no one any good presently. There is no majority support for the government for two weeks.
“There has been no tangible evidence, two years after hurricane Irma, on the progress of reconstruction of the country. I could not synchronize my vision for the country with the direction the country was heading under this present government. There are also several, burning community issues that I would like to tackle in the short term.
“For example; the accelerated level of poverty since hurricane Irma, the issue of the landfill and waste management in general, there has been no movement in regards to providing affordable and social housing, no major achievement in the roof repair project and of course our airport is still in a dilapidated state. If there is no modern, functional airport, there is no foundation for economic development.
“Additionally, there has been a total lack of control over the influx of undocumented people which creates a conducive atmosphere for the importation of poverty into a country that is already dealing with its own poverty issues. In short, there has been no real action taken to improve how we handle these crucial issues and improve the quality of life and overall well-being of the country.
“With all of the aforementioned in mind, I have decided to retract my support from the current UD/SMCP government and declare myself as an independent member of Parliament.”