Former President of Parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson represents Sint Maarten at 200th Anniversary of the Dutch Chambers of Parliament

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Prior to the change of the Presidium of Parliament on October 15th, the House of Parliament had already decided several weeks before that President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson would represent the country at a celebration event marking the 200th anniversary of the Dutch Chamber of Parliament (First and Second Chambers) in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Richardson joined the other Presidents of Parliament from Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands First and Second Chambers, in The Hague, the Netherlands for activities organized in connection with the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament that took place in the Ridderzaal at the Binnenhof.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is 200 years old.  Celebrations marking the bicentenary were started back in November 2013.

The celebrations to mark the bicentenary were held in the European and Caribbean parts of the Kingdom.

The foundation for the democratic legal order as we know it today was laid in 1813, and it evolved slowly but surely from that point forward.

In 1848 freedom of assembly and association and the freedom of education were added to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Dutch Constitution, and freedom of the press was expanded. However, slavery was not abolished in the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname until 1863.

Since 1815 the Kingdom has become much smaller. Belgium, Luxembourg, Indonesia, Suriname and New Guinea became independent countries.

For a long time, three countries remained: the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Since the constitutional changes of 2010, there are now four countries in the Kingdom (the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten) and three special municipalities of the Netherlands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba).

Several other events were held commemorated in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom in the period 2013-2015, such as the abolition of slavery 150 years ago (1863), the 75th anniversary of the first parliament of the Netherlands Antilles on Curaçao (1938), and the 60th anniversary of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands (1954). The theme running through all these historical events was the development of the democratic legal order.