Green light for new government, but PM Gumbs disagrees: “Even the governor can make a mistake”

POSTED: 10/6/15 9:56 PM


St. Maarten – Governor Drs. Eugene Holiday has given the green light to the National Alliance-led coalition to form a new government. There will therefore be no elections on December 8, as would have been the case if the governor had ratified the national decree the cabinet sent to his office to dissolve the parliament and to call new elections.

Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs “absolutely disagrees” with the decision and his cabinet does not intend to make its positions available. “All constitutional experts we have consulted are of the same opinion. Even the governor can make a mistake,” the prime minister said last night.

“We are waiting for a second advice from another respected constitutional expert,” PM Gumbs said. “We are awaiting this tomorrow (today – ed.). I have taken an oath as the Prime Minister to defend the State regulation and that is what I am doing.”

“Having reviewed the correspondence he received and following completion of the consultations regarding the current political developments the governor has informed parties that there is no basis not to form a new government based on the new majority in parliament. Governor Holiday is herewith appealing to all stakeholders to do all that is necessary to maintain and protect the integrity of our constitutional democracy and to foster actions in keeping with our constitution based on the rule of law,” a press release from the governor’s cabinet stated last night.

The press release contains a dry review of the events that led to the current political situation. On September 30, MPs Frans Richardson, Silvio Mater and Maurice Lake informed the governor that they had withdrawn their support from the government. Afterwards, shortly after noon on the same day, the governor was informed that the parliament has passed a motion of no confidence against the cabinet.

Referring to article 33 of the constitution, the governor’s press release states that ministers who no longer have the confidence of the parliament shall make their positions available. “It is noted that thus far the ministers have not made their positions available to the governor,” the press release states.

The governor furthermore received a letter signed by the factions of the National Alliance, the Democratic Party, the United St. Maarten party and MPs Matser and Lake expressing their willingness to form the next government. The letter included an attached governing accord signed by the eight MPs.

Following the vote of no confidence, the Council of Ministers submitted a national decree to the governor that calls for elections and the dissolution of parliament.

The governor consulted with the prime minister, the leaders of all political parties, independent MPs, the chairman of parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson and the vice chair of the Council of Advice, Mavis Brook-Salmon.

The press release does not contain an opinion or a comment about the national decree the Council of Ministers sent to the governor.

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