“If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t begun to pull the knife out… They won’t even admit the knife is there.” — Malcom X

I would like to start by thanking Raeyhon Peterson for finally admitting publicly and in writing that, as I had set out to bring to light, the accusations levied against MP Christopher Emmanuel and his Chief of Staff were a fabrication!

The additional colorful statements made by Peterson and the written attack on Emmanuel and his Chief of Staff by one of his supporters and another person in the newspaper are of no relevance to me, as Peterson with his statement has already proven that he lied to everyone involved or at least to the judicial authorities.

There are now public statements by the current Minister of VROMI Chris Wever (on video), the previous Minister of VROMI Miklos Giterson (on video), the Secretary General of the Ministry of VROMI Louis Brown (written documents) and Raeyhon Peterson (press release), verifying that there is no policy or structural procedures as it relates to the issuance of government long lease land.

And so, we move on.

Today we will delve into the screening process for ministers and the manner in which it is directly tied into the conspiracy to ruin MP Emmanuel. Emmanuel was arrested and released during the period he was undergoing the screening process to become a minister.

The fundamental questions that arise are:

– Was Emmanuel’s arrest timed to coincide with the screening process?

– Was his arrest an attempt to create an obstacle for him to become a minister?

– On what basis was Emmanuel prevented from becoming a minister?

I can tell you the answer to the third question in advance: there is no existing legal or valid basis!

The Constitution of St. Maarten

Chapter 3, paragraph 1 regulates the legal basis for the appointment of ministers. According to article 34 a candidate minister must hold the Dutch nationality and not be excluded from voting. The article goes on to list a number of positions/functions that a minister may not simultaneously serve in. Within the Constitution there are no other articles that determine or allow for any additional criteria to become a minister.

So my first question to the Governor, Formateur, Faction Leaders and High Councils who advise the Governor during the screening process is:

– What is the basis for the establishment of further rules, which we know today as the screening process?

– Who has authorized the violation of our Constitution?

The National Appointment Decree

“The “screening” of a candidate minister is based on the National Appointment Decree and is in essence a fact-finding investigation. This is regulated in the Appointment Decree of May 22, 2013, no LB-13/0442. Based on the results received from VDSM and the Attorney General, the relevant authorities decide whether or not the candidate is eligible for the position of minister.”

*Website of the National Security Service Sint Maarten*

On May 22nd, 2013 then Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, along with the Governor of Sint Maarten Eugene Holiday, signed into force retroactively as of May 8th, 2012 a national decree establishing a screening process for ministers. According to the decree, the legal basis for the establishment thereof is in article 40, sub 2 of the Constitution of St. Maarten.

Now things begin to become interesting!

Article 40, sub 2 reads as follows:

“The national decree dismissing the outgoing prime minister and appointing his successor shall be countersigned by the latter. National decrees appointing or dismissing other ministers shall be countersigned by the prime minister.”

NOWHERE in this article do I see where the Constitution allows for the establishing of a screening process.

NOWHERE do I read that the intention of the Constitution was for civil servants working in the National Security Service Sint Maarten, the Attorney General and ‘relevant authorities’ to decide who can or cannot become a minister in Sint Maarten.

Yet all parties involved make use of this screening process!

But it goes further.

The Parliament of Sint Maarten had previously decided against the screening of ministers, as a result no screening law was put in place from October 10th, 2010. Yet the Government, represented by Sarah Wescot-Williams and the Governor, decided in 2013 to disregard this and to basically usurp the authority of Parliament by passing a national decree instead.

This brings me to my next questions to the former Prime Minister and current Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams, all previous Prime Ministers, the Governor, all Formateurs since 10-10-10, Faction Leaders and High Councils who advise the Governor during the screening process:

– Have any of you read the actual national decree?

– Did any of you have questions as to the legality thereof?

– Have you known all along that you have been violating the rights of the citizens of Sint Maarten to be represented by certain individuals?

– Have you known all along that you have been violating the rights of certain individuals to become a minister?

The Instruction from the Kingdom Government

In October of 2014 the Kingdom Government gave an instruction to the Governor not to sign any national decrees for the appointment of ministers after the elections of 2014. The decrees could only be signed once the integrity of the prospective minister was guaranteed. In essence, this meant that the same criteria as outlined in the National Appointment Decree had to be met before the Governor was allowed to sign a decree to appoint a minister.

In reality, the Kingdom Government in 2014 placed the island under higher supervision when it pertained to the appointment of ministers. Article five of the decree stated that this measure of higher supervision would automatically end at the next election.

Now, when was that? September 26th, 2016!

In other words: the ‘special’ basis for the Governor’s refusal to sign a decree for the appointment of a minister ceased to exist in September of 2016.

So I ask the following questions to everyone previously mentioned:

– Why is everyone behaving as if the instruction is still in effect?

– Why is everyone acting as if the Governor has some form of authority to determine who can or cannot be a minister?

– Why are the basic principles of our parliamentary democracy being trampled on during the formation process by Formateurs who hand over the authority of the parliament to the Governor?

Presumption of innocence

Article 28 of the Constitution of Sint Maarten speaks of the presumption of innocence. This is a basic premise of our judicial system. One is therefore innocent until the person is proven guilty.

Now, in the case of Emmanuel, the good gentleman was arrested and subsequently released after spending 3 days in pretrial detention. To this day, Emmanuel has not been sentenced for any crime. As a matter of fact, given part one and two of my series of articles, it is unclear why he was even deemed a suspect to start with.

As it relates to the screening process specifically, nowhere is it stated that a prospective minister can be denied the post of a minister if one is a suspect in a criminal or any type of investigation. Yet history has shown on this island that democracy is being trampled, as being a so called ‘suspect’ means you cannot be a minister. Based on absolutely nothing!!

Now, someone needs to explain the following to me, and I believe the explanation should come from the Formateur, our current Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, who ultimately carries the political responsibility:

– Who decided that Emmanuel would not become a minister in the current government?

– On what basis was this decision taken?

Moving on

To the Members of Parliament and the Council of Ministers, you should retract the national decree that was signed by Sarah Wescot-Williams and the Governor.

You should also refrain from accepting any use of the now expired instruction by the Governor. You should at all cost uphold the Constitution of Sint Maarten and respect our parliamentary democracy.

I will state boldly and for the record:

There is no reason why Emmanuel should not be a minister in this country right now. There is absolutely no reasons he should not be a minister after the upcoming elections, once proposed to take on the honorable role of a minister again.

I stand behind every statement made during this series of articles.

Should the need arise, this will be continued!

“I’m going to tell it like it is. I hope you can take it like it is.”

Malcom X

Signed by “To Be Continued….