PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister William Marlin made it clear that the he will not be postponing elections even though electoral reforms have not been achieved.
“Postponing the election, whether for six more months or for another year is not an option for me. It is not an option for the government, it is not something we have considered,” Prime Minister Marlin said at Wednesday, July 6, Council of Ministers press briefing.
Prime Minister Marlin said that electoral reform should focus on the difference between political parties and individual candidates. “We have changed our system in 2010 to reflect one in which parties are recognized by the system and parties are very important. One cannot take part in an election if that person is not part of a party,” Marlin stated.
“The importance is placed on political parties…the governor doesn’t invite 15 members and say who you want to be in government or how do you see this government. He speaks to the party leaders and the parties put forward their candidates,” Marlin continued.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister disagreed with the response of the Council of Advice and the Kingdom Government that believe that ship-jumping is unavoidable. The argument is that Members of Parliament have a free mandate, meaning that they should not be obstructed in any way in the execution of his or her responsibility as a Member of Parliament.
“Personally, I think it’s a pity that within the advisory bodies both at the Kingdom level and at the local level, they are holding on to principles that are at the founding principles of the Kingdom…Holland also has ship-jumping. Holland also has members that leave Parliament, but they leave their party for different and/or other reasons than people do on St. Maarten in this specific case,” Prime Minister Marlin said.