Rodolphe Samuel takes over position: Arrindell ousted as president of parliament per July 15POSTED: 07/2/12 9:53 PM
St. Maarten – The parliament moved yesterday afternoon to end the term of its current President Gracita Arrindell per July 15 and to replace her with Rodolphe Samuel. The change of the guard reflects the new political reality after the UP/DP-coalition lost its majority and was replaced by a new coalition spearheaded by the National Alliance and supported by the Democratic Party and three independent MPs.
“This is not about the current chair, but about the coalition-agreement” DP-MP Roy Marlin said. Referring to the fact that the DP had supported Arrindell’s appointment when the party formed a coalition with the United People’s party, Marlin said that he would be “a hypocrite to criticize her functioning now.
“We have had our differences, but the fact is that the president does no longer have the support of the majority in parliament.”
The motion to appoint a new president of parliament per July 15 passed with 8 votes to 5. Members of the UP faction objected to the date and the motion to end Arrindell’s tenure per July 15.
“There are so many transitions that need to take place, MP Ruth Douglas said. The appointment of the new president ought to take place per September 1.”
Her fellow-faction member Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers agreed: “July 15 is a weird date. We’ll be on recess then.”
But independent MP Frans Richardson said that the transition should take place sooner rather than later.
“That will give the new president the opportunity to prepare for the new parliamentary year.”
To Arrindell Richardson said: “You are a Member of Parliament and you will be well received on this side.”
UP-MP Jules James was the most vocal in his objections to the date.
“The rules of order state that this has to happen in September, and the president made her position available per that date already. I suggest to my colleagues to review this. They should not make a mockery of this body otherwise we may as well throw the rules of order out of the window.”
But the protests fell on deaf ears. President Arrindell was among the five faction members to vote against the motion that passed 8 to 5.
The election of the new president was a formality, since it was already known that the coalition had already chosen Rodolphe Samuel for the function. Of the 13 ballots cast in this vote, 8 were for Samuel; the five opposition ballots remained blank.