PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — President of the board of the United St. Maarten Party (USP) Cecil Nicholas has stated that the people’s referendum, signed sealed and delivered on 10/10/10, has been effectively erased by the failure of this “UP lead National Alliance government to come up with a semblance of a plan to deal with known short comings of the governmental apparatus.”
Nicholas was responding to the acceptance of the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO law by St. Maarten and its take-over of control from the Parliament of St. Maarten and in some cases the executive branch of government. He stressed that the government itself has never done enough investigation into COHO and what its intentions will mean for the people of St. Maarten.
“COHO is the result of this UP lead National Alliance government’s failure to execute the promises they made to the electorate during the 2019 election cycle,” Nicholas said. He added that the execution of the implementation agenda does not speak to anything not known by this coalition, in fact it speaks of everything that was left on the table by the outgoing Leona Romeo cabinet, who’s negotiations they campaigned against with the slogan “Country for Sale”
“COHO is now the governing program birthed from the union of this failed UP lead National Alliance government. The total disregard for the cries of the people since taking office in 2020 has now matured into a watered down version of the peoples referendum of 10/10/10,” Nicholas said.
He said the UP lead National Alliance government wasted two years trying to strong arm the Dutch for liquidity support instead of fostering plans of approach to deal with existing issues, the same issues being addressed by COHO. “It seem like this governing coalition always has to be instructed to focus on the people’s business, a job they campaigned for, and were elected to execute,” Nicholas said.
He opined that the narrative of government’s backs being against the wall because of hurricane Irma and COVID 19 is being used as an excuse to cover up the irresponsible manner in which the coalition have been dealing with priorities. In hindsight, he continued, the coalition’s manipulating practices had its infancy during the 2019 election campaign cycle.
“Assurances were made of the existence of plan to address issues like the dysfunctional management of the government apparatus and the failures of preceding governments, with a specific focus on the previous Leona Romeo cabinet and her negotiations with the Dutch.”
“It became more evident in the beginning stages of their negotiations with the Dutch when they agreed unconditionally to any all measures the Dutch wanted to implement, in exchange for liquidity support. It matured thereafter with letters to the Prime ministers of Barbados and St. Vincent crying foul by the Dutch, not forgetting the infamous petition to the UN and the now very revealing letter, so called salad, from the deposed Chairman of Parliament, all during a period when the execution of plans addressing the situations at hand should have been forthcoming,” Nicholas said.
The USP Board President further pointed out that the coalition seems comfortable in an atmosphere of continuous manipulation, supported by elementary school like temper tantrums attacking each other in press releases instead of mature discussions in coalition meetings. He said that The NA/UPP coalitions manipulating tactics and their failure to address the elephant in the room is the sole reason that COHO existence in its current form on St. Maarten today.
“The longest lasting government is their claim to fame, 2 years, and 3 budgets, none of which placed any focus on or bore any fruit by addressing the issues left on the table, for which they claimed to have the answers. Instead it’s been two years of misleading statements, along with aimless attacks and cries of being victimized by the Dutch, hile the people pay the price with a 12.5% yet to be determined cut in salary / benefits, with a yet to be determined expiration date.
“In the meantime, food security is still a major concern, the cost of living continues to skyrocket, we have accumulated debt of over 1 billion guilders and counting, our school system continues its downward spiral and the social fabric of our society continues to unravel. That is what this government is famous for,” Nicholas concluded.