PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Independent Member of Parliament Chistophe Emmanuel on Tuesday said that the people of St. Maarten now knows without a doubt who is selling out the country and stressed that he could never in good conscience support making people lives more difficult by passing laws that does exactly that.
The MP said while many, including fellow MP’s, are quick to dismiss his warnings and concerns, every single thing that he has raised red flags about since November 2020, is now coming to pass. “And no-one can say or point out otherwise,” he said.
The MP was true to his word during the public Parliament debate on the overall salary and benefit cuts to government entities and civil servants, when he did not support the first proposed ordinance on Tuesday evening. The only MP to vote against.
“I cannot in good conscience vote to infringe on people’s rights, salaries and benefits knowing that there is no substantiation for these cuts, financial or otherwise,” he said. “No matter how you fluff it up, no matter what amendments you add, it all boils down to cutting what people have worked hard for and infringing on their basic human rights.”
“Anyone watching the debate would have seen the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and some of the MP’s who supported these laws, gleefully making statements with a disgusting non-chalance. Giggling and laughing and being sarcastic while putting more financial strain on their people. They seemed so proud of themselves that they were making political headway among themselves, totally oblivious to the people of St. Maarten who do not live as comfortable as they do,” the MP said.
He added that answers provided by government amounted more to “generalities and non-answers”. “There is no plan, there is no cohesion with unions, there is nothing. We are negatively affecting our people’s lives based on nothing. Perhaps they can sleep at night with that as a comfort, but I could not,” the MP said.
MP Emmanuel also reminded that the behavior of government is exactly the same as what caused the Leona Romeo government to fall, complete with accusation of that government “working for the Dutch” or “Knops government”. “Back then it was good for us, but not now. Back then it was good for the elephants to argue and the grass suffer, but not now. This is the quintessential definition of a hypocrite. I rather be an honest sinner than a lying hypocrite,” MP Emmanuel said.