Editorial: National Alliance parliamentarian to go independent

POSTED: 09/2/11 11:52 AM

It is a bit too early yet to draw conclusions about the move by National Alliance parliamentarian to go independent. After all, we have not had the opportunity to hear MP Richardson’s side of the story.
However, if it turns out to be true that indeed there has been a backroom deal that made Richardson change camp, country St. Maarten has a very serious matter on its hands.
Every politician is obviously completely free to make political decisions, also about his or her position in Parliament.
But politicians also take an oath of office. See article 56 of St. Maarten’s State Regulation. That article says in elaborate government lingo that members of the Parliament swear or promise that they will not accept any promise or gift in their function as parliamentarian. Parliamentarians swear allegiance to the King, the Kingdom Charter and St. Maarten’s State Regulation.
Therefore parliamentarians are not allowed to do something – like leaving the opposition and joining the government camp – if they receive a gift (like a business permit) as a reward for it.
To sum it up: if (and we stress if, not when) Richardson’s independence was bought with a permit for a business establishment, he has a lot of explaining to do – to say the least.

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