Van Putten’s petition drive to dissolve parliament

POSTED: 03/27/11 8:00 PM

Activist wants to know how many signatures he needs

St. Maarten –“How many signatures are required for parliament to comply with our request?” that is the basis question social and political activist Eldridge van Putten asks in a letter addressed to the President of the Parliament Gracita Arrindell. Van Putten is behind a petition drive that asks the government to dissolve the parliament.

“We have a few thousand signatures in hand while most of our ministers and parliament members are holding their posts with barely 200 votes to their names. People all over the world are refusing to accept governance that does not fully comply with their wishes. Just witness the upheaval in the Middle East.”

Van Putten reminds Arrindell of the reasons behind the petition drive. He claims that St. Maarten was sold separate status “on false grounds.” The letter refers to the argument that “Curacao was stealing our money” and that our financial position would improve drastically if “we dumped Curacao.” But that, Van Putten writes, ‘was a complete lie.”

“The truth is that Curacao was probably subsidizing St. Maarten instead of the other way around.” Van Putten refers to the unbalanced budget, “the inept mumbling of the Minister of Finance” as reasons why he wants the recall.

Another bone of contention is the presence in parliament of UP-member Jules James, Van Putten wrote. “That is a [provocation, an insult and an outrage. His brief tenure in parliament has been so tumultuous it defies logic that he has still not been asked to surrender his seat.”

The activist labels the parliament as “a private-members only club whose only objective is the preservation of the privileges and prerogatives of its members, the people be damned. The fact that you allow Mr. James to hold two full time jobs is a scandal. Why should we not recall you when you clearly do not have our interest at heart?”

Van Putten furthermore complains about what he calls “the disastrous developments surrounding the ill-conceived poorly executed and badly supervised Brooks Tower Accord.” Justice Minister Roland Duncan of is described as “befuddled” and “incompetent,” while finance Minister Shigemoto “individually risks putting the whole island under higher supervision.”

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