SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The board of the United Democrats (UD) held an urgent meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the latest developments and issues affecting our people and our country, a statement from the UD said on Wednesday.
One of the main premises of the meeting was to hear from the party leader, Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams and get the board’s perspective on some key issues, we as a people are faced with today.
"We surely have not been blind to the issues plaguing our people and our country for the past months. But in our view, the politically responsible thing to do was allow Government to put all its energy into governing this country and find sustainable solutions for the myriad of challenges we face today. What we see though is a divided government with no plan and choosing the wrong battles at the wrong time.
“With all its public relations, it begs the question how empathic is our government towards the people of this country.
“There is a serious lack of leadership and it shows in many areas.
-The relationship with the government of the Netherlands.
-The communication with civil servants and others affected by the salary cuts.
-The communication regarding the stimulus and relief plan.
“Does this government even care? Does the government really expect any empathy from the government of the Netherlands with its on-off-on attitude towards the same Netherlands? Government has brought on itself the reigning confusion regarding salary cuts etc. with its less than transparent negotiations on behalf of St. Maarten.
“We are in favor, but we are not in favor” “We are obliged, but we are not obliged” We are legally obligated, but we are not legally obligated”.
“What is it, government of St, Maarten? That the Netherlands would lump the three Caribbean countries together in one package shows their disdain and disrespect for the current government of St. Maarten. It is clear that these measures will only further drive our country into a spiral of poverty. Yet our government promotes and enforces these measures.
"Does the Government itself understand or know what procedures it should be following at this time?" the UD Board questioned.
“It is mindboggling to many individuals how this coalition Government can impose these measures, while the two governing parties campaigned on a totally different set of principles and beliefs. In fact, the divide is so big, there is more opposition within the coalition than there is in the parliament of St. Maarten. It must be said over and over again: “These ministers and coalition members took over the government to fight against the “takeover by the Dutch”. And now, a short few months later, what do we see?" asked the UD Board.
“The government of St. Maarten has managed to polarize our people and sectors of our community with its lack of transparency, openness and good faith towards the people. “The government is talking down to the people, not talking WITH the people," the UD Board concluded.