SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday September 30 after several meetings, discussions held with His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and the new coalition, Member of Parliament (MP) Silveria Jacobs, leader of the National Alliance (NA) and largest party in Parliament, and in the coalition of 9, humbly accepted to carry the role and responsibility to form the next interim government of St. Maarten, a press statement from the NA parliamentary faction said on Sunday.
“The formation agreement was thoroughly discussed and encompasses points that this coalition deems necessary to be able to move St. Maarten forward.
“Contrary to the political rhetoric being touted by the former Chairlady, she has had ample time to put forward legislation, proposals and motions related to electoral reform, which has not been done. Four years as Prime Minister and another 4 as Chair of Parliament and has achieved what in regards to Electoral Reform?
“When the public hears the words coming out of the mouth of the good lady, they should remember and take into account the following:
“MP Wescot Williams was Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs from 2000 - 2009 and simply couldn’t realize St. Maarten leaving the Netherlands Antilles. In June 2009, William Marlin was appointed Constitutional Affairs Commissioner and went into action mode and promised separate status for St. Maarten by October 10, 2010 and we can all recall her immediate reaction; that was unattainable, she said.
“Also, as a matter of fact, MP Wescott Williams is historically the longest serving PM since 10.10.10 in charge of Constitutional Affairs and has never tackled any of the issues related to the discrepancies between the Constitution, the Electoral Ordinance and the registration of political parties or brought forward any changes to create true electoral reform. One should ask how many times the party she supports has benefited from these discrepancies and the numerous changes in government over the years.
“Recently in her 4 plus years as Chair of Parliament, and recently as Chair of the Adhoc committee for electoral reform, she has not tackled this situation, and has held not one meeting, but can boldly state on October 3rd that there are 3 pieces of legislation related to electoral reform, which the secretariat must make available to us ... however during her tenure.... nada!!!”
“As a result of the year and a half long infighting in the former coalition confirmed by the members of the UD/SMCP coalition, the current demissionaire government lost its majority support in Parliament. The heir apparent leader of the UD, since the suspension of MP Heyliger, former Chairlady Wescott Williams was unable to keep her government and majority in Parliament in sync. This is the failure or short coming of the aforementioned Member of Parliament and not the current leader of the new coalition leader in Parliament, the undersigned MP Silveria Jacobs.
“As a first time formateur, I have taken up the challenge to form the next interim government given the conditions and concerns as laid down in the formation document. As the 9 now forming a majority, we stepped up after it was apparent that no reconciliation could be brokered by the 6-1 and 1 which now made up the reality of the former coalition, a truly fragmented group of individuals without a clear leader.
“The 9 had hoped by salvaging this floundering Parliament and it's minority we could have avoided a political and constitutional crisis allowing for effective day to day governing. This because the current caretaker government clearly had no true direction, leadership or collaboration to get needed legislation and strong decisions that weren't apparently directed by "outside influences" executed.
“As elected representatives of the people we brought awareness of serious ills as well as solutions from the opposition benches and are therefore ready and willing to bring these forward as we form the interim government now, and cemented with the public's support on January 9th, will remain in government for the next 4 years.
“The proven stability of the National Alliance party over the years, the recognition of new leadership, innovative and progressive young candidates, especially in the last election, is all that is needed to remind persons who are swayed by the rhetoric of the former chair.
"In cooperation with our partners in the new coalition in Parliament and the incoming interim government, I pledge to do my utmost to continue to lead and function with the utmost integrity and passion; to do what is right for St. Maarten and her people.
“Due to the unnecessary move by the outgoing PM to call for elections, we have a short time to do so, but I have no doubt that we can achieve what we set out to, without fear, without feeling the obvious intimidation that is being proliferated by those who have connived to get us exactly where we are today. In the end, it is the people who will decide St. Maarten's fate," MP Jacobs stated.