Draft law for Emancipation Day holiday heading to St. Maarten Parliament

POSTED: 06/3/11 6:56 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Rhoda Arrindell expects to be in Parliament in the near future with draft legislation making Emancipation Day a national, public holiday. The last update she had was that the Council of Advice has sent its remarks and the draft law back to Governor Eugene Holiday. The government must now bundle that with its reply to the advice and send it to Parliament for handling.
The drafting of the law began shortly after the budget debate in December 2010 and Council of Ministers approved the draft text in early April. Arrindell is now hoping that Parliament will work with her to ensure the law is passed quickly and the July 1, 2011 can be a holiday as preparations have already begun for it to be marked as such.
“A day as important as July 1 cannot continue to be just another day on the calendar for St. Maarteners. It’s historical weight and relevance, its’ significance for our collective self esteem and dignity and the transformative, cultural process it has unleashed, including claiming the full measure of freedom fought for and won as of 1848 for St. Maarten demands that Emancipation Day be set aside as a national holiday as is the case in many other countries in the world, particularly in our Caribbean region,” Arrindell said.
October 10
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams also announced that the government is still considering whether October 10 will be a national, public holiday to commemorate the fact that St. Maarten became a country on that date in 2010.
“We have not completed the discussion on the public holiday schedule for country St. Maarten. The question has come up, but we have not decided on the complete holiday schedule, which naturally has to be something between the government and the Parliament, when it comes to establishing public holidays,” the prime minister said.

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