National Alliance calls program shift “undemocratic”

POSTED: 01/10/12 3:00 PM

St. Maarten – The National Alliance faction has protested a decision to convert the closing dinner/cultural show for the Inter-parliamentary Consultation on the Kingdom into a closing lunch/show. The party’s disapproval was communicated in an e-mail to 11 members of Parliament, Parliament’s Secretary General Jozef Semeleer and the media on Monday evening by National Alliance leader William Marlin.
According to e-mails Marlin sent out the opposition leader called the move undemocratic because a majority (seven MPs) had voted in favor of having the dinner and show on Thursday night during Friday’s Central Committee meeting on the budget for the event. Three MPs voted against.
“In other words, the Central Committee decided that the event would be a dinner and cultural show and would be held on Thursday night. Now to be informed, that it has been decided to change the event from a dinner and cultural show on Thursday night to a lunch and cultural show on Friday afternoon, is against the basic principles of democracy. No two Members of Parliament can change a decision made by the majority of Parliament. We cannot allow this practice to continue as it is undemocratic and against the principles of good governance,” Marlin said in his e-mail.

Later he’d add, “We hereby strongly object to the decision that was taken to change a decision taken by the majority of Parliament in a Central Committee meeting. We want to further propose that this matter be dealt with properly, through consultation with all Members of Parliament, after which a decision is taken by the majority of Parliament.”

The opposition leader also pointed out that this recent incident is not the first time a decision of the majority of MPs has been changed by one or two MPs. As an example W. Marlin said Chairman of the permanent committee on Inter-parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations Roy Marlin unilaterally scheduled a meeting with a delegation of faction leaders from the Dutch Parliament on a Saturday morning, when the committee had voted to inform the visiting group that they would prefer a meeting on either Friday or Monday.
“The Chairman of the Committee, MP Roy Marlin, took it upon himself to unilaterally change the decision of the majority of the Committee and decide to still meet with the Faction Leaders on the Saturday in question. We therefore recognize a habit to this way of operating, which is against the basic principles of democracy,” W. Marlin wrote.

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