SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christopher Emmanuel is of the opinion that government owes the people a better explanation about why it green lighted Carnival 2021. The MP said he is aware of the clause that the event could be called off if the situation warrants it, but “to just announce such a large event in a pandemic without proper explanation is unacceptable,” he said.
The MP made sure to point out that he does not hold the decision against the SCDF. The SCDF, he said, is mandated with one task; to organize Carnival for the country. “They were also place is a bad position last year when Carnival was cancelled and the Regatta was allowed to continue. So it’s not them. The issue is government,” he said.
He continued: “If the decision was mine, considering the circumstances, I would not have organized it. I think that is the first reaction from everyone. The government must have had its reasons for doing so. The burden falls on them now. What are the plans? What are the contingency plans? The Regatta is before Carnival, is that event being held? If yes, is under the same scrutiny of Carnival? What is the scrutiny? As usual with this government the public knows nothing, and has received no information,” the MP said.
MP Emmanuel said even a Minister publicly admitted that COM could have perhaps done a better job at informing the public. “They realize this after the fact. In this situation a government has the responsibility to safeguard its people and if they decide to go against that responsibility then at least, at the very least, tell us why, how, when, what, who and where,” the MP concluded.
The MP also made similar comments on Tuesday evening on SOS Radio when he re-iterated that the situation and Carnival do not go hand-in-hand.