Island Council members to attend workshop on Dualism in preparation for Country St. Maarten status

On Wednesday, February 3, Island Council members, the Governor, Commissioner Xavier Blackman, as well as Island Secretary Joane Dovale-Meit, Quartermaster for the Parliament of Country Sint Maarten Cassandra Janssen and the Sector Directors will be attending a workshop on dualism. 

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The concept of dualism creates the division of power between the Council of Ministers (executive branch) and the Parliament (legislative branch). These two branches of government will be the new institutions that will govern country St. Maarten.

Dualism, the separation of powers, assures checks and balances between the two branches of government, ensuring that the executive branch is supervised by the members of the legislative branch, who are representatives elected by the people.

The current structure of Executive Council and Island Council will cease to exist on 10-10-10 and be replaced by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament of Country Sint Maarten. Persons who are members of parliament will not be able to sit in the Council of Ministers at the same time.

The theme of the workshop is: "Dualism in Country St. Maarten 10-10-10," and is organized by the Island Secretary’s office in collaboration with the Dutch Association of Municipalities (VNG).

Experts from the VNG will share their knowledge based on their experiences of dualism in politics. Dualism workshops were first introduced to Dutch politicians in 2002.

Dutch experts from the VNG will present the pros and cons of dualism based on experiences in Holland. A discussion will then take place on how to introduce the concept of dualism in the new governmental institutions for country St. Maarten at the political level in order to achieve a balance between the executive and legislative levels of government.

The four VNG experts who will be providing information to the workshop participants are: Nico Schoof, Gilbert Isabella, Marieke Verhoeven and Famke Kweekel.

The workshop will take place at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel.