Press Release from the Democratic Party

The agreement between the NA/Heyliger/Laveist coalition and the Central Government of June 24th a bag of empty promises.

The Democratic Party had already provided you with the questions we submitted on November 17th 2009 relating to the amendments to the Organization Ordinance of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten and the Ministerial Plans for Country St. Maarten. I now provide you with the answers to these questions as given by the Executive Council on December 16th. 

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Some interesting facts surfaced as a result of the questions posed by the Democratic Party faction and these prompted the DP faction in the island council meeting of December 16th to further question the government.

The government of Sint Maarten is unaware of any allocation to Sint Maarten by the Central government for the transfer of tasks and personnel to Sint Maarten while the island government of Curacao according to reports knows that this allocation by the Central Government amounts to 265 million guilders. According to the answers provided by the Executive Council, the difference between what is expended now by the local government and what will be needed to fill the (new) positions is 69 million guilders.

The Government of St. Maarten is according to its own admission contemplating engaging in mediation against the central government to "ensure that the central government lives up to its obligation". A Central Government by the way of which the NA (same as in the Executive Council) is part.

The transfer of tasks and personnel from the central government is to take place per January 1, 2010, but the Executive Council will, again according to its own admission, get clarity regarding the financial part of this transfer only in February.

When we hear that the executive council is of the opinion that St. Maarten is being shortchanged by the Central Government, we can not help but recall the statement by the NA Constitutional Minister, that with NA representation on a local level, the entire constitutional process would run "smoother"? Is it really?

The proud opening of a MOT office on Sint Maarten some months ago. If we are to believe the Executive Council of Sint Maarten, this was but a charade. By the admission of the Executive Council, nothing happened since.

The government of Sint Maarten has formally reacted to the draft federal ordinance regulating the transfer of tasks from the central government to the islands. The government by its own admission is in the dark as to whether any of its recommendations and remarks has been taken into account by the Central Government. Coincidentally this federal ordinance was being debated on Wednesday, 

December 16th by the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles in its Central Committee.

Noteworthy is also the admission by the Executive Council that diverting from the original intention to have federal civil servants come directly into service of the local government, the government’s intention is now to have these employees seconded to the island territory(ies). The details of this secondment are yet to be received by the faction of the Democratic Party.