~ Says Governor must sign decree dissolving Parliament ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — United People (UP) party fraction leader MP Franklin Meyers on Thursday night stressed that at some point “somebody has to make a stand somewhere” to stem the tide of constant government instability and address a flawed constitution. Appearing on Oral Gibbes Live, Meyers said the UP has decided to take that stand now in support of government dissolving parliament and calling new elections.
MP Meyers used his opportunity on air to address various issues but repeatedly return to what he called the “crux of the matter”: a flawed constitution. This flawed constitution, which he reminded was authored by Sarah Wescott-Williams and William Marlin, contradicts itself on many fronts, though the language in the separate articles in contention, seem to be very clear.
He said while it looked good on paper, practical execution remains a problem. “There is something fundamentally wrong with the system when you can get five governments in five years,” he said. He also stressed that Governor Eugene Holiday does not have a choice but to sign the National Decree to dissolve Parliament as submitted to him by the Marcel Gumbs cabinet.
In fact, Meyers presented Gibbes with a letter from Governor Holiday in 2013 to the then Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams, informing her that dissolving Parliament is the sole discretion of government. In that light, Meyers said the decision to dissolve Parliament has already been made by government and the Governor by law and by his own words, has to sign the decree.
“And when elections come, the United People party will contest the elections. A lot of them (other MPs) don’t want to go to an election. But government calling elections after years of instability can serve as a deterrent to those who feel they can destabilize government for personal reasons,” Meyers said.
MP Meyers also agreed that in five years Parliament could have enacted electoral reform to stop the practice of ship-jumping, “but many didn’t want to do it because today it benefits me, tomorrow it doesn’t. But we have started the process now.” He also made it clear that Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs is not “some rogue” Prime Minister acting on his own. The prime Minister, Meyers said, governs on behalf of the UP and its coalition partners and as such has our support. “There is nothing wrong with the people going back to the polls now.”
He said “not one single member” that drew their support from the UP can tell the people of St. Maarten what their reasons of principle was for doing so. “It was all for personal reasons. Their reasoning did not make sense. They continue to do this to St. Maarten for personal reasons. For example, giving MP Leona Marlin-Romeo responsibility for a Ministry as a coalition partner apparently upset some who felt they had more votes.
“But I received over 600 votes, I wasn’t demanding a Minister of my own. I didn’t feel like because a coalition partner was responsible for a Minister meant that I couldn’t call upon that Minister for information. We were a coalition and apparently that was just an example of personal reasons members used to throw the country into chaos again. I spoke to Maurice and I spoke to William and I told them we cannot keep doing this to St. Maarten,” Meyers said.
“And while some people might want to blame the party leader (Theo Heyliger) I take it upon myself as fraction leader. It was my job to “corale” so to speak our members, which I did. But in the end you cannot control people’s minds,” he said.
Meyers also pointed at hypocrisy of the National Alliance. He reminded viewers that when MP Maurice Lake was Minister of VROMI, the National Alliance tried to fire him as Minister on three different occasions. “It was the leader of the National Alliance who went in the media and called Maurice a pathological liar. But today he is great.”
UP Leader MP Theo Heyliger will address the current political situation in the coming days.