Arrindell stresses the importance of democracy

POSTED: 09/17/11 3:31 PM

St. Maarten – President of Parliament drs Gracita Arrindell issued a statement Wednesday both celebrating democracy in St. Maarten and calling for strengthening of the democratic institutions. Both statements were part of a statement issued to coincide with International Day of Democracy.

The international day was approved by the United Nations General Assembly and published in resolution A/62/7. The resolution encourages governments to strengthen national programs devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy, and designated September 15 of each year as International Day of Democracy.

“Today is a day to honour democratic ideals. We as a nation believe in the fundamentals of representative democracy. Tolerance is key to a successful democracy.  Political tolerance is a key principle of democracy, and parliament is a central institution of democracy. Political tolerance means accepting and respecting the basic rights and civil liberties of persons and groups whose viewpoints differ from one’s own,” Arrindell said.

She added, “Our nation has achieved country status almost year ago.  We must continue to build our democratic institutions as we move forward together with nation building. On September 13, we had the opening ceremony of the new parliamentary year 2011-2012. The Parliament of St. Maarten represents the foundation of our democracy, where 15 duly elected parliamentarians represent the people of this great island nation.”

“Democracy must be cherished.  We have seen a huge popular aspiration across parts of the Middle East and North Africa for democracy. The fight for democracy is continuing today in Libya and in Syria. As a nation we must be proud of our democratic heritage where changes have been brought about via the ballot box in free and fair elections. We must be proud of our democratic principles. Democracy is the only system of government that can provide better advancement to people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.  On this day, 15 September, I congratulate the people of this democratic nation where freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law prevails,” Arrindell also said on Wednesday.

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