PM: “As Politicians We Must Remove The Cloud of Suspicion Surrounding Elections

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams Emphasized that it is the role and responsibility of politicians to ensure that elections are fair and open and that the cloud of suspicion surrounding elections be removed. The Prime Minister stated that it is important to regulate items related to the electoral process to ensure that it remains open, fair and democratic; "Last year the Parliament of St. Maarten expressed in a motion some of its sentiments related to elections. I prepared two position papers with regards to Parliament centered on changes to the electoral process. I requested parliament to have a deliberation because it is they that needs to bring the issues to the fore that they think should change. That discussion came down to some matters that can be amended before elections but will take more time. Our constitution establishes certain matters that give form and direction to elections. I don’t think that any changes in that respects can happen before 2014. There are at least two other ordinances that are important for elections. There is an electoral law in which several execution regulations were established. There is an electoral resolution that is determined by Government. For example the matter of the so-called black curtains; Parliaments feeling was that, given a lot of allegations of what can happen behind black curtains, parliamentarians had reservations on. This can happen through the resolution. Voting must be secret; you should not have the fear that someone can see if you are voting," emphasized Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.