SMCP Calls on Coalition to Present Governing Program to Parliament

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Wycliffe Smith Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten -– The September 26 votes were counted, recounted and validated by the Main Voting Bureau on Tuesday October 11th 2016. The Sint Maarten Christian Party thanks the 848 voters who cast their votes based on the principles, norms and values that the party stands for.

These votes were definitely not bought but came from persons who genuinely believed in the stand that the party has taken to seek to govern Sint Maarten based on the Christian principles of honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability and compassion. Even though SMCP got 99 votes short of the required votes to obtain a seat in parliament the party will continue to inform the people and to let its voice be heard on matters pertaining to the parliament and government of Sint Maarten.

SMCP is pleased that the National Alliance and the United People’s Party, the two largest vote getters in the September 26th election, have shown great political maturity by putting aside their differences for the benefit of the people and the country. The people, especially the business community, are hoping and praying that this coalition will bring about the much needed stability in government. As we enter the next four years of governing our elected politicians must take off their political caps and put on their governing caps.

American politician Tom Daschle once said: “The campaign is over. It’s time for the work of governing to begin”. The floor of parliament should not be used for grandstanding and politicking but it should be the place where the business of the people is debated seriously, intelligently and objectively. These debates should then culminate in legislation that would benefit the people and move the country forward.

For the sake of transparency and open government SMCP calls on the UPP/NA coalition to officially present their governing program to the new parliament as the first order of business. According to article 63 of the Constitution the newly appointed ministers should also be invited to parliament to take part in the deliberations. As the coalition partners have a majority of 10 seats they need not be afraid that the governing program will be rejected by parliament.

But the discussion of the governing program in parliament will give parliamentarians as well as the general public a better insight as to what the government plans to do in the next four years. In addition, parliamentarians will be better able to monitor the implementation of the various plans and projects and as such will also be able to hold the government accountable with regard to the execution of the governing program. Just as political parties circulated and promoted their manifestos during election time so SMCP also expects the coalition to ensure that the governing program is widely distributed.

Go back to the people, hold town hall meetings and public meetings so that the people who elected the coalition parties, will also get to know, first hand, how these parties intend to govern the country for the next four years.