MP Tamara Leonard – Governor put in awkward position by Dutch Government

The recent instruction from the Dutch Government to Governor Eugene Holiday to carry out an invasive screening of candidate ministers in addition to the mandated security screening has put the governor yet again in a very awkward position where he has to choose between truly representing the people of St. Maarten and the one-sided interest of the Dutch Government, says United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard.

“This instruction goes against a number of fundamental rights and freedom guaranteed to the people of St. Maarten by our Constitution. The instruction seeks to invade the privacy of not only candidate ministers, but that of anyone who had come into contact with them. It goes further than the candidate ministers’ family and friends. It pulls in everyone. By virtue of this instruction everyone on St. Maarten will be under investigation as we are a small community,” Leonard said.

“Aside from this instruction from the Dutch Government being an insult and disrespect to the people of St. Maarten, it shows that the governor’s office is indeed a colonial tool. We as St. Maarteners have one of our own as the de facto head of our country in the form of the governor, but at the whim and will of the Dutch Government which so ever St. Maartener is holding that office has to decide whether to work with their fellow St. Maarteners or brutally against them,” Leonard said.

The MP said Governor Holiday as a ranked professional should not be used by the Dutch Government to execute its political witch hunt against the people of St. Maarten and its elected and soon-to-be-appointed representatives.

“What is very important at this juncture in the story of our young democratic country is for all St. Maarteners to band together and face down this insult and not splinter into those who are ‘for the Dutch’ and those who are for certain political parties. This instruction, the method used and the heavy handed approach of the Dutch Government must be condemned by St. Maarten as a whole,” Leonard said.

“We are no longer a colony. We are not a public entity of the Netherlands. We are a free people – a status we fought long and arduously for, first in the salt ponds and then by referenda. Every St. Maartener knows the history of this land we call home. Every St. Maartener knows that value of standing together in times of adversity. This is one of those times. Let us not be divided now by party or any line. Let’s stand strong as one St. Maarten,” Leonard said.

The boundless and limitless investigation seeks to cast doubt and gather hearsay to use against people who have opted to serve their country in the highest offices of the country. If this investigation is allowed to take root no one will want to take the lead to run for office, not because they lack integrity, but to avoid the invasion of their lives and that of people they hold close, Leonard said.

“Where do we draw the line? We draw it here and now. We cannot allow our laws and Constitution to be trampled on in this colonial witch hunt,” Leonard said.