Parliamentary year 2011-2012 closes – MPs quibble about procedures

POSTED: 09/11/12 12:13 PM

St. Maarten – The parliament meeting to close the parliamentary year did not go down without some quibbling yesterday morning. The simple point of incoming documents was reason for quite some remarks that led parliament President Rodolphe Samuel to move them to the next meeting. But when he wanted to close the agenda point UP-MP Gracita Arrindell objected because she had also registered on the speakers list, yet she did not get the opportunity to speak.

Shortly after Samuel gave her the floor, he cut his predecessor off, saying that the matter of the incoming documents had been dealt with.
“But you don’t even know what I was going to say,” Arrindell protested. To no avail: Samuel kept the agenda point closed. “You are wrong,” Arrindell grumbled.
On a lighter note, independent MP Frans Richardson called for cooperation across party lines. He mentioned the joint motion with UP’s Johan Leonard to ban plastic bags as an example. The same Leonard would shortly afterwards call a point of order, saying that Richardson had exceeded the 5-minute limit for his allowed speaking time.
“By cooperating we achieve more for the people of St. Maarten,” Richardson vowed. He criticized bureaucracy that slows down the execution of projects.”Parliament must look at contract worth more than 50,000 guilders,” he said.”It takes too long to get them approved.”
Independent MP Patrick Illidge supported Richardson’s criticism of the bureaucracy, though he used his five minutes to mainly to focus on economic setbacks, unemployment and the high cost of living. “It is easy to do something about this by approaching Gebe,” Illidge said. “I am asking for an inquiry into Gebe. For the love of Christ, other places produce much cheaper electricity than St. Maarten. How is that possible?”
Illidge also pressed for the creation of jobs. ‘The Council of Ministers has a job to do, and if they don’t do it, we’ll have to do it,” he said.

UP faction leader Sylvia Meyers wondered about the lack of locals in the higher echelons of the police force. “Where are they? Are our locals to laidback and too relaxed? This warrants an explanation.”Meyers also pressed for a more senior citizen friendly community. “We want better healthcare and better pensions for them,” she said.
Meyers also stressed the need for relief and mentioned Gebe, supermarkets, and cable TV as examples where citizen feel the pain. “I have never before heard about gas price hikes twice in one week,” she said.
Lastly, Meyers, whose sister Ruth passed away recently at the medical center after a haemodialysis procedure (We had to hear; it was just a procedure and it went wrong), said that the hospital’s emergency department needs urgent attention.

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