MPs unable to give update on government formation to Youth Parliament 

POSTED: 11/5/14 10:20 AM

St. Maarten – As President of the St. Maarten Youth Parliament, Dwayne Griffith submitted to St. Maarten Parliament a motion, requesting an update on the current situation with government and the steps being taken to establish the new Council of Ministers. However, the MPs present were unable to give any information on the developments to the Youth Parliament, as many were not privy to what was taking place. Members of the Youth Parliament met with Parliament members at the Central Committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss the developments in government formation with regard to the instruction for the screening of candidate-ministers from the Kingdom Council of Ministers in The Hague.

“Our faction cannot provide any insight as to whether a list of ministers has been put forward… neither do we know the standards by which they will be screened,” said MP William Marlin. He went on to say that “from a government-formation point of view, there was a deafening silent.” MP Silveria Jacobs echoed Marlin’s sentiment, saying, “We are not privy to what is going on.” She hoped that during the process of developing St. Maarten’s new government, the young people and the general public of St. Maarten would be informed. She noted the impact the Kingdom’s instruction has had on the formation of the government and, as a result, the people of St. Maarten, saying, “The people of St. Maarten are being held hostage without a sitting government.”

“I have no clue who is being appointed in any position…. We, too, are waiting to see who will be appointed and who will pass the screening process,” added MP Frans Richardson. “It is some sort of secret nomination… we are waiting to see what will transpire.” Richardson went on to say that his biggest issue is that Governor Eugene Holiday has not come out to inform the public of the instructions given to him, if they are being carried out and if they are even legal, given St. Maarten’s constitution.

Prior to the meeting of the two parliamentary bodies, the Youth Parliament conducted approximately 300 surveys through social media to get an accurate representation of how the youth of St. Maarten feel about their local politicians, the Kingdom instruction and the formation of the new government. They found out that a majority of the youth were unaware of what was going on, while others were disappointed with their politicians. The surveys also revealed that many young people feel as though the parliamentarians don’t care, that they only want to have the position and the pay that comes along with it.

“If the youth are the future, then parliamentarians should make decisions to ensure that there is a future for young people and a place for them to come back to,” said Daniella Maccow, second Vice President of the Youth Parliament. She focused her presentation on creating a future for St. Maarten, quoting John Schaar: “The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.” In light of her quote, she said that if Governor Holiday is allowed to act contrary to the constitution in place, we will be showing no respect for our constitution.”

MP Roy Marlin added that St. Maarten already has a process in place by which ministers have been screened in the past. The island had several governments during 2010-2014. “In our opinion, the screening worked then…. There’s no reason for the Dutch government to interfere.”Notably absent from the meeting were UP party leader and MP Theo Heyliger, MP Silvio Matser, MP Franklin Meyers, Cornelius de Weever and Dr. Lloyd Richardson.

 

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