(Senator George Pantophlet, the Daily Herald, February 16, 2010.)

What a prophetic statement. What a way to "bring home" 10-10-10.

The "we" referred to here must be the party of the Senator, the National Alliance, not we, the people of Sint Maarten. 

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This statement by the Senator "that we are not ready", was made in the context of the draft law to the change the Islands Regulation Netherlands Antilles as proposed by Minister Roland Duncan of the National Alliance. On the basis of this draft law, the leader and the members of the NA have been insistently announcing that elections for a new island council will be held in June 2010.

The draft law was explained by the NA as being necessary to expand the Executive Council with 2 members to assist with the added responsibilities which the island will receive from the Central Government.

These responsibilities can be transferred to the islands on the basis of another law passed by Parliament recently. CAN BE TRANSFERRED!

The NA is right in its assessment that they are not ready. How could they be?

Which tasks have been transferred to the island government thus far?

Without this transfer, what are these additional Commissioners supposed to do, shadow the respective Ministers, while costing the tax payers of Sint Maarten more in salaries, staff, vehicles etc. for Commissioners? Or is this move to spread the existing portfolios and conceal the weaknesses of the present members of the Executive Council?

Now that the National Alliance is getting cold feet as far as the draft law to change the Islands Regulation is concerned, we hear Senator Pantophlet make a case out of the spelling of "meantime" and "in the mean time"?

And that "Sint Maarten should not be shafted in the process"? Explain that one, please. Explain to the people of Sint Maarten how Minister Duncan can draft a law that according to Senator Pantophlet is not in the interest of Sint Maarten.

What truly baffles us is how all of this is accepted at face value and even more so, put under the caption of the Senator’s responsibility as a Parliamentarian.

This law was drafted by the Central Government, endorsed by the National Alliance, signed by Minister Roland Duncan? Who is shafting who?

What has caused this turn-around by the National Alliance? Pressure from within?

The National Alliance went on this "We are not ready" campaign with the expectation that the Dutch Government and the Antillean government would pity us and rush to the rescue. The result?

The Dutch and Antillean governments told the National Alliance in no uncertain terms to : "Stop the whining and finger pointing and show what you (Sint Maarten) intend to do". How sad.

Since we have practically given up on hearing anything from the Executive Council when it comes to essential and detrimental issues for Sint Maarten, we pose the following questions publicly:

Who drafted this law that according to Senator Pantophlet could potentially shaft Sint Maarten?

Are these only feeble attempts to make it seem as if the National Alliance has issues with its Minister, Mr. Duncan?

What is the Executive Council’s formal response to this draft law? Were they even consulted?

For the record, this draft law as proposed by Minister Duncan allows the following:

1. Dissolve the island council of Sint Maarten prematurely and call early elections after the Constitution for Country Sint Maarten is approved by the Island Council by a simple majority.

2. New election for a 15-member island council

3. Appointment of 2 additional commissioners

4. A dualistic system of government (commissioners can no longer be members of the island council or vice versa).

5. That the elected 15 members of the island council will become the members of the Parliament for Country Sint Maarten.