Committee agrees to letterabout dispute regulation

POSTED: 07/27/15 7:04 PM

St. Maarten – The committee for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations agreed yesterday to sign on to a letter drafted by its sister committee in Curacao about the position the Dutch government took during the Kingdom conference about a dispute regulation for the Kingdom. In the letter, the parliaments of Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten ask the Dutch Second Chamber what its position is now that the Dutch government has stalled the implementation of the dispute regulation again. The three parliaments also want to know the Dutch parliament’s opinion about the value of decisions that are taken at the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (Ipko).

During the last Ipko, delegations reached an agreement about the establishment of a dispute regulation for the Kingdom. “If parliaments speak, governments have to listen,” Ipko-chairman Jeroen Recourt said optimistically at a press conference at the end of the Ipko in May. But the Kingdom conference that followed in April in Curacao made clear that the Dutch government is not ready to play ball.

National Alliance leader William Marlin was the only one to address the issue in yesterday’s committee meeting. “Governing is done by governments, not by parliaments,” he said. “It has been clearly underscored that each parliament has its own responsibility. Parliaments can instruct governments and governments can ignore those instructions. Then it is up to the parliament to say: these are the consequences.”

Marlin said that it is now up to the Dutch parliament to take a decision. “They have to decide what they want to do with their government. This decision by the Dutch government is a slap in the face of the parliament.”

Marlin said that he suspects that the Dutch parliamentarians have known all along that this was how things were going to go down with the dispute regulation. “First saying that there was white smoke at the Ipko, knowing what the position of the Dutch government would be and then fall in line with them. Then everything falls flat on its face,” Marlin said.

“We can pass a hundred motions, come together with Curacao and Aruba and pass a hundred and twenty more, but if the Dutch government decides, it is their direction and the responsibility for the Dutch parliament to react.”

Committee-chair Sarah Wescot-Williams, hitting on another point the Dutch have rejected, said that she would continue to pursue the possibility of Dutch study financing for local students who decide to continue their studies in the region.”

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