PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake says he welcomes the resignation of the Marcel Gumbs Cabinet and the making of the way for the new cabinet to be installed.
“It is good they have finally tendered their resignations on Wednesday and will stop embarrassing themselves by not following the rules and making mockery of our Constitution. The Prime Minister and the other Council of Ministers have shown no respect for the Constitution, our Excellency the Governor, our elected representatives in Parliament and the People of St. Maarten,” the MP said.
“It is a “shame” that after the Prime Minister heard of a possible criminal complaint against his cabinet may be filed, based on the “Ley Suzy” Law and the police would have taken him out of office, “he runs and wants to sign and tender the resignations of the entire Gumbs Cabinet,” said Lake.
“If the Prime Minister has any Integrity he would apologize to the people of St. Maarten, instead of looking at it as a joke or victory for holding the country hostage for so long, and not abiding by the rules of the law. Our political leaders needs to take a stand and raise the bar now through electoral reform to move St. Maarten forward in the general interest of the people,” said the MP.
“Some of our leaders just sit behind the scene, talk with two tongues and show lack of leadership and tolerate the disrespect to our Constitution. Any good Leader with character and ethics will step up and put the appointed ministers in order and tell them to resign and respect the Constitution. I have never heard of anywhere in the world where a majority elected representatives of the people passed a vote of no confidence in Parliament and then after the fact the an appointed Prime Minister not elected by the people gets off a plane and then dissolves Parliament based on his feelings and misinterpreting Article 59 in the Constitution,” said the MP.
“Imagine an appointed Prime Minister never consulted with the people decided on his own to call for new elections after the fact and the Governor entertained such a decree. ‘Only in St. Maarten.’
Lake said he fully agrees with the former Minister of Justice Roland Duncan that St. Maarten was put to shame by some people who are playing tit for tat or wants to give a last lick without following the rules. We need to raise the bar and show more political maturity in house of the Parliament and stop this petty politics of not signing up for meetings, twisting the rules of order and then laughing when you are dealing with the people business. I was shock by some of our representative’s behaviour in parliament in front of our new Chairlady of Parliament.
“The Prime Minister also refused to meet with Parliament to give the reason for his cabinet’s decision to dissolve Parliament and schedule new elections, said Lake.
“Is the Prime Minister being coached behind the scenes by the UP Leader who appointed him or is he just a loose cannon that embarrassed himself in public by holding the Country hostage for a month?”
“The Prime Minster always had “this trump card” in his back pocket, said the MP. “I can remember the first time on March 21, 2015, I was in Orlando with my family when there were rumours of breaking Government from other MPs in which the same Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs left a voice message on the hotel room phone that says, ‘MP Lake, this is Marcel, please give me a call and if I don't hear from you, I will have no choice than to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections.’ I didn't call him back and I sent a message to the Leader of the UP that Marcel is out of order. That is sad, this was not the first time the prime minister behaved this way of threatening to dissolve parliament and call for elections.
Lake said the time is now to show political maturity through electoral and constitutional reform. When I took the oath by the Governor it was to uphold the Constitution and serve my people and not just to show party loyalty. “We must get ‘back to basics’ by bringing stability to our country, set priorities and achieve success in the general interest of the people. There is no more time to play politics with our people and their future.”