UP Party says it will not accept any Dutch interference

POSTED: 10/2/14 11:27 PM

St. Maarten – The board of the United Peoples Party (UP) strongly believes “that the recent rhetoric of the Liberal Democratic VVD party and Socialist Party (SP) in the Netherlands is exactly that, rhetoric, but nonetheless infringes on the fundamentals of St. Maarten’s parliamentary democracy,” the party stated in a press release.

“The people have clearly spoken and the support our party and its leadership serves testimony to the confidence the people of St. Maarten have in our leader. Their voice must be respected. The people did not vote for Dutch MP’s. No Dutch politician will determine who governs St. Maarten, our people have that say and our Governor, appointed by the crown, sees the process through,” the UP Board stated.

The press release goes on to point out that there have been numerous integrity and corruption cases Dutch political parties have had to deal with in the past two years. “Provincial councilors hired themselves as their own party workers, Mayors falsified taxes and party deputies have been convicted of corruption, money laundering and fraud for arranging kickbacks. Why is it that in the Netherlands their political parties, commissions and the legal system are allowed to execute due process while the same, in the opinion of a few, is not applicable for St. Maarten?”

The UP press statement notes that corruption has to be proven under rule of law and that integrity accusations have to be justified. “There will be no witch hunt simply because two Dutch MP’s said there should be. These views by certain Dutch MP’s are undemocratic and by calling St. Maarten a banana republic is an insult to all St. Maarteners and to the solid foundation of hard work and sacrifice this country has been built on.”

While the UP balks at the bold statements from Dutch MPs during the debate about the Kingdom Relation budget, the party also expresses confidence that St. Maarten will carry out the majority of the recommendations of all three integrity reports. The press statement mentions the recent the PwC-report, the report from the Wit-Committee and the integrity report of the General Audit Chamber.

The UP charges that the “superficial comments by certain Dutch MP’s are not solution oriented” and that they “serve no purpose other than catering to their base and garnering colorful headlines. We have seen this before throughout the Kingdom by the same Dutch MP’s, who, as their statements betray, do not see us as equal partners.”

The UP holds that the incoming Council of Ministers and the new Parliament must be given the opportunity to govern the country “without attempts of distraction, childlike insults and character assassination attacks by external influence. These are serious times and our people expect serious solutions from the UP that we will deliver. Our people do not expect us to be distracted by Dutch MP’s practicing willful ignorance.”

The UP says that it is looking forward “to a solid working relationship with the Netherlands and further identifying many areas of cooperation, but that St. Maarten will defend its right to govern autonomously and will not accept blatant forms of interference from any Kingdom partner.”



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