UP discusses electoral reform

POSTED: 01/20/13 7:45 PM

St. Maarten – The United People’s (UP) parliamentary faction met with attorney and former Lt. Governor Ralph Richardson on Thursday morning to discuss possible changes to the existing electoral law.
“We have a Parliament of 15 members associated with the three political parties, but then three Members of Parliament became independents,” MP Gracita Arrindell said in a press statement.
The MPs discussed several articles of the electoral law, and the Constitution of Country Sint Maarten that relate to elected members who declare themselves independent from the party on whose platform they were elected.
“Acknowledging the sensitivity and complexity of this issue including the rights of individuals under the Constitution, the UP faction welcomes an open dialogue since the topic has become a hotly debated issue again.
The UP envisions not only an internal discussion within its faction, but also an exchange of ideas between factions “in a nonpartisan mature manner.”
If any changes are made, including changes to the Constitution, they have to be approved by referendum, the press release states.
“As we continue to evolve as a new country, this topic and others will undoubtedly come to the forefront for discussion, and if necessary for adjustment. This is a natural evolvement as questions of this nature confront us from time to time,” Arrindell stated.

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