PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Parliament will be a co-signer along with the legislatures of Curaçao and Aruba on a letter to the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament, seeking that body’s position on the Dutch Government in effect shelving the establishment of a dispute regulation, and a related body for the kingdom.
The letter, drafted by the Curaçao Parliament, came after last month’s Kingdom Conference -a meeting of the countries of the kingdom- saw the Dutch Government putting up a road block on the issue. The four governments were mandated by their Members of Parliament following the May Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation IPKO to establish the regulation.
The decision to sign the letter proposed by Curaçao, was made in a meeting of Parliament’s Permanent Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations on Thursday in Parliament House. The meeting was held in the annual July recess to give the Curaçao Parliament an answer as soon as possible. Aruba has already agreed to the letter.
Committee Chairwoman MP Sarah Wescot-Williams (Democratic Party) said the letter calls on the Second Chamber to give its position on the Dutch Government’s “unwillingness” to come to a decision on the dispute regulation.
She said the matter comes down to how Parliaments should view decisions and directives to their government. In this particular case, it concerns a “shared directive” from the four parliaments on the dispute regulation that will give all countries an independent body to solicit solutions to inter-country grievances.
National Alliance MP William Marlin said, “The letter does not have sufficient teeth” and pointed out that any government can “ignore [its] parliament,” but that move should come with consequences. As such, it is the Second Chamber that “needs to decide what to do with the government.”
He said asking the Second Chamber for its “take” on the Dutch Government’s position can very well be meant with the Chamber saying it agrees with its government, despite the IPKO decision. “They can say we agree [with the Dutch Government] and boom it is over.”
It would appear that the Second Chamber is “going along” with the position of the Dutch Government, considering that there has been no reaction since the expressed failure to reach an agreement on the dispute regulation at the Kingdom Conference of mid-June, he said.
“When something happens down here [in St. Maarten-Ed.], they are quick to react,” but when the Dutch Government “slaps” them in the face, there is no reaction or outcry, said Marlin.
Responding to Marlin’s queries about the value of the letter, Wescot-Williams said MPs “might think we know where they [the Second Chamber-Ed.] stand, but need to ask” for a formal position.
Co-signing the letter was supported by independent MPs Leona Marlin-Romeo and Cornelius de Weever.
He called for the letter, which is written on the letterhead to the Curaçao Parliament, to be placed on a “neutral” letterhead or “one should be fabricated for the three parliaments” before it is sent out with signatures of the three legislatures.
Also attending Thursday’s meeting were MPs Christopher Emmanuel (National Alliance) and Dr. Lloyd Richardson (United People’s party).