Prime Minister comments on election call

Honourable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams has taken note of the statements made by the leader of the National Alliance (NA) Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) William Marlin with respect to his recent call for new parliamentary elections. 

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"The parliament of Country Sint Maarten was solemnly sworn in on October 10, 2010. For many, including me there was much more to this ceremony than the solemn oath-taking by members of Parliament.

"Sint Maarten now has its own full-fledged parliament. As stated on numerous occasions, no one expected of the parliament and government of the new country Sint Maarten that they would hit the ground running. The transition is a drastic change and it seemed therefore that Sint Maarten had a "soft" start as a country on all levels.

"I say, it seemed, because behind the scenes there was feverish work being done in preparation for that day and the days immediately following October 10, 2010," Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams said on Tuesday.

The prime minister adds: "One thing we all rejoiced in however was the fact or rather the anticipation that the "island territory type politics" had become a thing of the past.

"Alas, this seems to have been wishful thinking. And at the risk of being accused of now engaging it that very practice I have condemned on several occasions, I cannot let statements attributed to the leader of the opposition faction in Parliament go unchallenged.

"The specific statement relates to the mentioned leader’s support for new elections and other related statements. On the matter of elections: If after precisely six months of a Parliament, in which the opposition holds six (6) seats, the wish of that opposition is for new elections, the first question that comes to mind is; "what has that faction constructively done in its role to supervise government and as legislator of the country for the past six months?"

"On the other hand however, this call for new elections by the leader of the opposition should not surprise any-one. Was it not the same leader who at the time of the installation of the new government and parliament in October 2010 called for a protest against the installation of the new government?

"An attempt that was thwarted when it became public knowledge that the opposition party was behind this move, inviting persons to a meeting to discuss a protest against the new government," Hon. Prime Minister Wescot pointed out.

"On a related matter, the opposition leaders voice his opinion that the government of Sint Maarten is "inviting" the Dutch government to supervise Sint Maarten.

"When the same leader had the opportunity to "warn" the Dutch government about this alleged ploy he concocted, mind you, what do we see? The opposition leader refuses to meet with the Dutch Ministers, Donner and Leers, but a week later tells the Sint Maarten public: "the government of Sint Maarten is ‘inviting’ the Dutch to take over".

"As he went on and on, he alluded to ‘…had he been in government, he would have…’. Well guess what, the specific reference by the opposition leader to the ‘six months contracts’ does not need an act by government. Any member of parliament, especially a faction consisting of six members, can table an initiative or motion, expressing their desire to legislate the matter of short term labor contracts.

"That is now a prime example of the dualistic system we presently enjoy, yet some still try to throw sand in the eyes of the people to hide their own shortcomings," Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams concluded on Tuesday.