UPP Sends Letter to President of Parliament on Dissatisfaction with the President’s conduct

To: The President of Parliament

Drs. Rodolphe E. Samuel

Parliament Building

Wilhelminastraat #1


St. Maarten


Ref: Dissatisfaction with the President’s conduct regarding the affairs of Parliament.


Philipsburg, September 25, 2012

Honorable Chairman:

Since the reshuffling and majority support change there has been a serious shift in the way things are run here in this Parliament.

We the members of the UP faction would like to express our dissatisfaction with how you are handling the affairs of Parliament and inform you that your approach is counter-democratic and


To substantiate our position, we again outline the following concerns:

1). The glass window at the Peoples’ House remains darkly tinted. We the members of UP faction protest against this blatant blocking out of the people and insist that it be removed. Our faction is committed to openness of Government as this both assures and strengthens public trust, participation and collaboration.

2). Meetings continue to be called in undue secrecy. We react to the way meetings are first called in secret, then adjourned abruptly yet never reconvened. In addition the canceling of meetings at the whim of the new Parliament president is undemocratic.

3). Members of the executive branch refuse to answer in a timely manner, questions sent to them through the Presidency. Questions submitted to at least 3 ministers, have yet to be answered. (Copies attached.) This is a blatant disrespect for Parliament. Even the Governor is behaving in the same manner. The matter of unanswered questions submitted to the Governor will be dealt with in a subsequent Press Conference.

4). Requested meetings of Parliament for Ministers to appear before Parliament are circumvented, with excuses that requests for said meetings were not "motivated". What we are seeing demonstrated by this new Government and majority in Parliament is a downright disrespect for transparency and good corporate governance. We say again that transparency promotes accountability so that citizens of Country St.Maarten can be duly informed.

5). Media houses are still not provided with timely information about meetings, or how the country is running and worse, what Parliament is doing. When Parliament in its behavior is shutting out the Press, this is not something that we take lightly. Why? Because as someone once said "Democracy dies behind close doors" We believe that Freedom of the Press protects the rights of the people to know that their government is actively and purposely working for them. Anything short of this leads us as a nation, down a very slippery and dangerous slope.

6). In the absence of the President, a decision was made to have two MPs attend a Palatino Meeting schedule for this Thursday Sept 27 in Uruguay. On his return, MP James approached the President for his intervention and for the inclusion of the UP Faction. By his own admission the President agreed with the point of MP James while even referring to a previous CC meeting where the decision was taken for such rotation and agreement for the inclusion of the opposition. The president, nevertheless, and perhaps fearing pressure from within, opted to not rectify the move made in his absence.

7). Why is Parliament so adamantly against openness? There remains this veil of secrecy, which is very concerning. We were led to believe that this would be a government for the people. If that is so then this government leaves a lot to be desired, when it comes to transparency!

Abraham Lincoln said "When the people know the facts, the country will be safe."








MP Silvia Meyers MP Jules James



MP Dr. Ruth Douglass MP Johan Leonard