Pond Island – On February 26, 2018 the people of St. Maarten went to the polls to elect fifteen members to the Parliament of St. Maarten. Most people feel that this election was not necessary and in the beginning indicated that they were not going to vote. However, they realized that throughout the world there are people who can’t vote and some are fighting to be able to cast their first vote. Therefore, 62% of the voters went out and cast their vote in the last election.
But here we are some three months and three days since the election on February 26, 2018 and to date we don’t have a new government in office. Those of us who were on the campaign trail for the last election have heard how disappointed the voters were to have to go back to the polls not even two years after the 2016 election. Most voters have indicated that this election will make no difference in the governing of this country. Low and behold, the UD and SMCP are proving them right.
Our elections have become a mockery to our people and in the eyes of our brothers and sisters in the region. Most countries in the region, the winners of the election take office the same day. As a matter of fact just last week the people of Barbados voted and their new Prime Minister has already taking the oath of office. Today I would like to congratulate all the people of Barbados living in St. Maarten and the new government of that country. They do have a gigantic task ahead of them but they have received a clear mandate from the people and they must work in their interest.
After the February 26, 2018 election Mr. Theo Heyliger, the largest vote getter and leader of the largest faction in Parliament was appointed, the formateur. In one of his first statement he mentioned that he was not going to rush to form a government. But now that the UD and SMCP have formed a government all indications are that they are having a difficult time finding qualified people to fill the various ministries. Besides that those that they have presented for screening are not able to pass the screening, it is rumored.
In my opinion this is a crying shame that persons who made themselves available on a list and can’t pass the screening. People are constantly asking when will we have a government that the people voted for and not an interim government.
It is time that the formateur, Mr. Heyliger comes out and let the people know why after all this time he can’t present his government. Who are those persons who are being presented and can’t pass the screening? What are some of the reasons why they can’t pass the screening? He has been screened before and therefore he knows what to expect and should have informed those who they selected. Or was it a matter of letting them go through the same thing that he went through so that it can be said it is not only him that can’t pass the screening but others fall into that same category. But let the public know if it is their taxes, criminal or some other area? Or is the screening too rigid that most many people will not pass it.
There are some people who know that having an interim government is not good for our investment climate and our economy but they try to defend it by stating that it took Holland many months to form a coalition government after their last election. To that I say there were differences in policy vision and ideology of those parties in the Netherlands. But there are no differences in policies between the UD and the SMCP, they are cut from the same cloth.
A bleak of hope would be given to the people if and when a new government is sworn in. Barbados is a good example, the people are now living in hope, something that our people are falling short of.