SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY – By Cecil Nicholas) - Dear editor, In the midst of the high level of confusion around the play on words like “trajectory”, the constant repositioning of this governing coalition with regards to COHO, the petition to the United Nations and continued liquidity support, one thing remains glaringly constant: The everyday plight and hopelessness felt by the average citizens of this country.
The obvious lack of strategic planning with regards to the petition to the U.N. and the seemingly unprepared demeanor for responses of State Secretary Knops, hit this coalition like a deer caught in the headlights of an eighteen wheeler container truck. We have yet to see any formal or formidable response or strategy moving forward, other than the Prime Minister refusing to sign on to the country package until liquidity support is reinstated.
The debris of the collision is a direct reflection of the emotional state of the country. People are divided on the petition because decolonization was not properly explained, State Secretary Knops is offended by the language in the petition, while Senator Jeroen Recourt (Pvda) in Netherlands sees the fiasco as a “choke or swallow approach.”
At this point a strategy should have been put in place to address the divide among the people of this country so that there is a clear understanding of what the petition to the U.N. process entails, what decolonization if achieved means for this country and its people, the time line of the process, and more importantly how the will the people survive this exercise financially. The latter question is of the utmost importance because it has a direct correlation to the viability and sustainability of our economy. No SSRP means less spending power, which can lead to layoffs if not closures of businesses, which equals added pressure on the social welfare system.
It is astonishing to me that the Coharis Law Firm has not been instructed by the President of Parliament as he has been so charged, to dispatch a letter to State secretary Knops demanding the immediate reinstatement of liquidity support, especially since the U.N. petition was the avenue chosen to challenge aspects of the country package. Keeping in mind that negotiating options were limited to none existent through normal avenues because government had already unconditionally accepted help in writing early last year, delivered on behalf of the Prime minister by our minister of plenipotentiary in The Hague.
The coalition has been alluding that they whole heartedly believe in their position, whichever of the many they have taken thus far, with regards to the contents of the petition to the U.N. COHO and liquidity support. So based on that position alone, a letter should have already been dispatched.
State Secretary Knops has clearly demonstrated his disgust with the unclear positions of Prime Minister Jacobs and MP Roland Brison, the leaders of the NA/UP coalition, by pulling liquidity support and further laying the snail’s pace at which projects from the world bank money are being executed squarely on their laps.
The lack of strategic decisions thus far makes you wonder whether or not the NA / UP coalition stands behind the contents of their petition. The people to date don’t even know if their Prime Minister supports the petition and its content, or not. Was the petition submitted on behalf of the people of this country because their rights are being trampled on, or was this merely a strategy to gain leverage with regards to liquidity support and the conditions attached to it, after giving away negotiating privileges from the inception of talks?
The Coharis law firm is on retainer as they should be for a case of this magnitude. They should be advising on a way forward based on the consistent and continued negative reactions of State Secretary Knops to the petition. Why has the coalition not informed the population on a concrete way forward? The silence is defining and it highlights the lack of strategic planning on the part of the leaders of this governing coalition.
Their two options are very clear: 1) retract the petition and receive liquidity support, or 2) stay the course. Movement on either front has yet to be clearly stated, are we to believe that at the peoples expense egos are the order of the day. Or are individual MP’s falling from the ranks of the hierarchy on their yet to be announced strategy moving forward.
True leadership stands strong in the face of adversity, when a principle stance is taken on behalf of your people and country, it must be well thought out weighing both the pros and cons and the people you have sworn to represent must at all times have a proper understanding of the journey your course of actions puts them on. This is not a socialist state the last time I checked.
Challenges of authority and autonomy such as the petition to the U.N. on behalf of this country have to be explained properly to the people in preparation for whatever challenges may come from such a bold stance. The country should never be put in a position to be ridiculed or laughed at based on indecisions after the fact. We are proud and resilient people by nature and we deserve to be represented in a manner that reflects that, anything less is unacceptable and inexcusable.
This government remains mute when it comes to discussing their position, plans or vision if they have any. They prefer to kep the people guessing and hoping for solution that thus far have not come. Their silence is beyond disrespectful to the people