Annual report parliamentary year 2012-2013: Louie Laveist, Frans Richardson score worst attendance records

POSTED: 12/11/13 6:56 PM

St. Maarten – Only five parliamentarians attended all ten plenary meetings of parliament in the parliamentary year that ended on October 9, and not a single MP attended all 42 meetings of the Central Committee. Frans Richardson, who is about to launch his own political party, recorded the worst attendance in parliament meetings with 30 percent – meaning that he attended just three of the ten meetings. Richardson also missed 12 Central committee meetings. Independent MP Patrick Illidge attended just five meetings of parliament.

In the 42 Central Committee meetings, National Alliance MP Louie Laveist has the worst attendance record: he sat in on 24 meetings and missed 18 of them – an attendance percentage of 57. Laveist was also a member of the parliamentary committee for Education, Culture, Youth and sports. The committee held two meetings and Laveist attended none of them.

Independent MP Romain Laville and DP-MO Roy Marlin share the second worst attendance record with 64 percent. They both missed fifteen meetings. CHECK!!!!!!!

Johan Leonard was the most faithful in attending Central committee meetings. He missed just 2 out of 42, good for a 95 percent attendance. Only Hyacinth Richardson (92 percent), Gracita Arrindell (92) and George Pantophlet 990) reached an attendance record of 90 percent or higher. For a full table of the attendance records in both Central Committee and parliament meetings, see page 3.

All data stem from the 20120-2013 annual report of parliament. There is a discrepancy between the number of meetings the report mentions and the number of days for these meetings. Some meetings were adjourned and continued on another day. In our review, we counted these additional dates as separate meetings. The report mentions 26 Central Committee meetings, but they took place spread over 42 days.

Parliamentarians submitted 344 written questions to members of the cabinet during the parliamentary year. That is a steep increase compared to 2010-2011 (103) and 2011-2012 (103).

Compared to the year 2011-2012, the parliament has been less active: the report mentions 9 plenary sessions of parliament, while there were 19 in the previous year; central committee meetings went from 50 to 26 and the senioren convent – a meeting of faction leaders – met just 7 rimes, compared to 16 times in the previous year.

The report also tallies the motions parliament submitted over the past three years. In 2010-2011 there were just four motions –and only one of them received the nod of approval. A year later, MPs submitted 16 motions of which 6 passed. In the most recent year parliament picked up steam and passed 16 out of 17 motions.

Parliament furthermore received 51.3 percent more documents in the 2012-2013 parliamentary year than the year before. No fewer than 852 documents arrived at the house of parliament, compared to 563 the year before. On top of this, Secretary-General Joseph Semeleer received 317 documents (188 in 2011-2012) and he sent out 560 (444 in 2011-2012). Outgoing mail from the president of parliament went from 227 in 2010-2011 up to 327 the next year and down to 162 in 2012-2013.

The cream on the cake in the annual report is the information about the laws parliament approved. In the first parliamentary year, 19 draft laws were submitted and 3 were passed. A year later 36 draft laws were submitted and 7 were passed. In 2012-2013, just 6 draft laws were submitted and 4 of them were passed.

The legislation that received the approval of parliament is hardly of a shocking nature. One law is an amendment to the legal dues ordinance that was necessary due to the introduction of new ID-cards and driver’s licenses; a second law has to do with security companies, and a third one with amendments necessary due to the succession of Willem-Alexander to the throne. The fourth piece of legislation is an annual event: the budget.

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