PM in Lloyd Richardson show: “Full independence a natural evolution”

POSTED: 10/12/12 1:43 PM

St. Maarten – “I think full independence is a natural evolution of our people. Where we are today is definitely not the final stage,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a radio interview with Lloyd Richardson. “However, we must realize that the word independent is relative. Yes, once you have the absolute power over your destiny and governing that is indeed what is referred to as independence, but we need to realize that countries and regions are very much dependent upon each other; dependant on each other in terms of economy, safety and security. Sovereign countries have come together to voluntarily adhere to various unions which ensure regulations and checks and balances to make this possible. Where we are right now is a good learning process for the people of St. Maarten for any future status the country might have and how that status would look like.”

Anniversaries like Constitution Day help the community to reflect on achievements but they also help “to center the people as we go forward in building a country,” Wescot-Williams said.”If I were to make one brief assessment it would be that the government and the people are still committed to making St. Maarten work. In the second year things have started to take shape, perhaps not as fast as some would like to see but we must remember that this is due to the very checks and balances that we were so adamant about building into our new country. Things in government take time before they manifest themselves and these checks and balances are in place in order to ensure our democracy. They are there to make sure that the democratic foundations the country is built on are strong. In the second year that has been becoming a reality.”

The Prime Minister said that the country will never get to a point “where we will say ok this is it. We are constantly building; constantly striving to make the country into what it should be, constantly working towards having a government for the people. We are constantly contemplating and planning what is necessary for the building of a nation. It is about formation and it is about your people and that, to me, is the most critical process.”

The prime minister also briefly spoke about the political situation on “sister islands” and the changes of Government St. Maarten has experienced. “A change of government is not something we should engage in often. You get a certain stalemate and it takes away from the governing regardless of what side you are on. The most important thing is that those persons who have been elected discuss the matters which are important and of interest to the people of St. Maarten.

“We who have been elected need to make the policies and decisions important to the people and have the fundamental discussions on what is important in order to make these things happen.” The prime minister said that being a country is not a promise of milk and honey. “It is putting the responsibility given to you by the people as a priority. That is a very big responsibility for all involved both for government, parliament and the people of St. Maarten. Our governing program will be launched soon and will include the integration with the respect for St Maarten, our culture and our belief and our standards. We have a rich history and a very rich culture. As a people we should not forget and we should also not let others forget.”

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