SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “Where do I begin, or should I even begin with a response to Formateur Jacobs’ reaction to me calling on her as Formateur to divulge how she plans to form an interim government on the basis of the very same issues that caused members of her coalition to draw a line in the sand,” Leader of the United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot Williams said in a statement on Tuesday.
“One such issue is the relationship with the Dutch government and its hurricane Irma reconstruction fund. I am of the opinion that if the 9 MPs supporting the next interim government have been truthful with their opinions thus far on the Dutch reconstruction program and other related matters, then a formation on the basis of the mandate by H.E. Governor Holiday is impossible.
“This is my full right as Member of Parliament and like I’ve stated before, I would gladly be proven wrong. As Formateur, one is expected to stay above the political fray and do his/her job as Formateur. After all, a government by the coalition of 9 (Co9) is not yet a given. That 9 members of Parliament have signed an agreement to govern St. Maarten and presented this to H. E. The Governor is not a governing accord.
“The Governing accord will be on the basis of the outcome of the formation talks and these talks will be on the basis of the mandate given to the Formateur by H. E. The Governor. The Formateur could have sufficed with her statement: “Jacobs plans to form next interim government with conditions in formation document.”
“It is clear at whom the guns of the Co9 are pointed, as also evidenced by the spin on the electoral reform debate by this coalition. The Formateur rather than explain how she will reconcile the views of the individual members of her coalition into a program that meets the Governor’s mandate, went into the constitutional history of the country.
“And wants to remind the people that “Sarah did not bring home 10-10-10, it was William.” At the same time, “it was Sarah who did not ensure the proper legislation for 10-10-10”. I leave the following Formateur’s assertion up to the readers’ discretion: “9 years of doing nothing to attain country status and in the 10th year, the status is saved by one who did everything.”
“Let’s talk electoral reform, lest we forget that in 2016, an election invoked by the Marcel Gumbs cabinet, was postponed for 7 months to effectuate electoral reform, on the insistence of the then incoming Prime Minister, the honorable William Marlin, of the Red, White and Blue coalition, supported by S. A. Wescot-Williams. A coalition by the way, that ended when the choice ‘agree or not with the Dutch conditions’ was put to coalition partners.
“Again, we see, the coalition of 9 will commit to electoral reform, only to then blame everyone else when nothing is done. Is electoral reform even on the radar of the coalition of 9? How convenient to skip parts of the political evolution of our country since October 10, 2010. Why has hardly anyone, besides myself made any serious attempts to address electoral reform and integrity in parliament? Why were/are those the 2 most shunned committees of parliament? Exactly, too many government changes with too many individual agendas.
“To Formateur Jacobs, if you are even remotely serious about electoral reform as mandated again by the governor, you can take up where the caretaker Prime Minister left off and improve on this and your coalition partner, the Chairman of Parliament, can pick up the Electoral reform committee in parliament and run with the draft ToR to outsource the many pieces of legislation which have been identified as part of electoral reform. Electoral reform is not a single issue, it is the reformation of our system to better fit our political culture, ways and expectations,” the statement from MP Sarah Wescot Williams concludes.