UP-leader Theo Heyliger about Dutch instruction: “This is a blatant witch hunt”

POSTED: 10/20/14 6:41 PM

St. Maarten – The United People’s party has requested an urgent meeting of Parliament for this upcoming Monday at 2 p.m. to discuss the instruction given by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to Governor Holiday (see related story). Party-leader Theo Heyliger released a venomous reaction to the news about the instruction, saying that the Dutch government “has once again shown that it will spare no measure in setting aside St. Maarten’s constitution and continues disrespecting St. Maarten’s parliamentary democracy.”

Heyliger noted that the measure puts Governor Holiday “in a complicated unenviable position” with the instruction not to ratify the appointments of the members of the new cabinet until an expanded vetting process has been completed.

Heyliger is also miffed that the governor has to rely on the assistance of Dutch appointees “to tell him who is ethical enough to become a minister.” They want the governor to guarantee integrity based on the instructions of Dutch appointees, not St. Maarten’s investigative process, Heyliger laments. “This is a blatant insult to the governor and to the people of St. Maarten.”

The UP-leader states that he wants to make one thing very clear: “The Dutch government cannot change the rules of the game after the match has started and we are 15 minutes away from half time. The Dutch simply cannot change the rules after we are this far along and change them with such obvious malicious intentions.”

The Dutch Government is using as justification the findings of two integrity reports, one of which was commissioned by the government of St. Maarten, Heyliger notes. “The Dutch government has disregarded the fact that St. Maarten has to its credit undertaken several initiatives to enhance integrity throughout its system and the fact that the incoming government has pledged to seriously consider the recommendations and allegation in the reports as prescribed by law and if so warranted.”

Heyliger states that the Dutch government has been “buoyed by the unsubstantiated noise of Dutch MPs” (André Bosman and Ronald van Raak – ed.) and that the “unconstitutional instruction” is aimed at him personally as the highest vote-getter in the August elections.

“The Dutch government is not only thwarting democracy, but is making a mockery of it by giving an instruction to basically find something, anything on MP Heyliger to not only disqualify him as Prime Minister, but to use as a premise for possible prosecution. Think about the precedence this would set for any St. Maartener who sought political office but whom the Dutch consider persona non grata. The Dutch, mind you, who nobody on St. Maarten democratically elected,” the statement continues.

Heyliger furthermore charges that the Dutch do not consider Sint Maarten an equal partner in the Kingdom. This is “vividly demonstrated,” he writes, by “slanderous, unsubstantiated allegations of calling duly elected representatives of the people “the mafia.”

The UP-leader also announces that candidate ministers will not agree to “a vague limitless investigation” into their person, their families, third parties, friends and acquaintances “without the parameters of the vetting being known.”

“It is quite obvious that this measure is designed against MP Heyliger and confirms what we have said before: It is a blatant witch hunt that simultaneously insults the people of St. Maarten and now the governor,” Heyliger furthermore states. “The Dutch government has now shown the world that without any credible, proven basis whatsoever, it is capable of targeting elected representatives within the kingdom.”

Further down in his almost 1,000-word statement, Heyliger states that the Dutch have reminded citizens that St. Maarten is not an autonomous country. “It is a colony where the colonizers can decide for their colony on a whim. This colonial distinction is one the people St. Maarten will have to decide upon much sooner rather than later.”

Heyliger states that the Dutch think they can “manipulate our democracy and expect us to freely allow and accept it. But this is not something St. Maarten will accept. St. Maarten is prepared to take this issue much further within the Kingdom and beyond to ensure that its rights as a parliamentary democracy are respected.”

While Heyliger is a member of the new parliament, his name is not on the request for the meeting of parliament on Monday. Instead, MPs Silvio Matser, Tamara Leonard and UP-faction leader Franklin Meyers have requested the meeting. Outgoing Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams was appointed to the position of president of parliament and she will have to convene the meeting. Within an hour after Heyliger’s statement reached the media, parliament announced that the meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday.







Did you like this? Share it:
UP-leader Theo Heyliger about Dutch instruction: “This is a blatant witch hunt” by

Comments are closed.