PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Upon entering office in 2020, this NA-UPP Government promised to do its best to make history, which is to govern for 4 straight years.
Less than a year removed from next elections, this Government led by Silveria Jacobs, William Marlin and Rolando Brison, are doing whatever it takes to ensure that history is made. Even, if it means handing over supervision of the Ministry of TEATT – the only viable and well-functioning government-owned company – to two persons who have been convicted of corruption at the Port of Sint Maarten. “The thief, not the rat is now going to supervise and guard the cheese!”
This act of desperation, to continue to govern at all costs, became evident when a former honorable man, MP George Pantophlet, defended the unethical actions of the Minister of VROMI and pleaded for him to remain in power.
Then came MP William Marlin, who after 7 months abroad due to sickness, came home limping, barely able to walk or climb a step, to occupy his seat to ensure the slim majority of the Government would remain.
After initial attempts to remove their own coalition member President of Parliament MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten failed, they resorted to offering taxi licenses, putting the livelihood of current taxi license owners at risk. MP Heyliger-Marten tendered her resignation from the UPP on Thursday, October 27, 2022 and declared herself independent the following day, Friday, October 28.
The Governing Accord of 2020 was signed by 9 MPs, out of the 15-member Parliament. The Jacobs II Cabinet now only has the support of 4 NA, and 2 UPP members. This is contrary to what was signed off on, based on the Governing Accord 2020 presented at that time to former Governor Eugene Holiday.
In my opinion, the Jacobs II Cabinet is fooling the Sint Maarten people, when they claim to still hold the majority, with the help of 1 independent MP Akeem Arrindell, and 1 (so-called member) of the USP Chanel Brownbill, who is acting on behalf of suspended member Claudius Buncamper.
I have to remind the people of Sint Maarten that MP Brownbill was expelled from the USP, and the party made clear on different occasions in the media, that he is not allowed to speak or do anything on behalf of the USP. It’s only because of the way the law is structured that he is in Parliament under the USP faction. These are issues that I will look to change when I get elected in 2023!
The leader and board of the USP made very clear in the past, the fact that the USP does not support this government and had kicked out MP Brownbill.
The actions of these politicians can be considered egotistical, and definitely not in the best interest of their voters, the electorate and the country. MP William Marlin, as former leader of the NA party, and Coach to present party leader of the NA, and Prime Minister, Silveria Jacobs, have lost their principles and credibility. What a shame to sign a coalition agreement with MP Akeem Arrindell and MP Chanel Brownbill, when previously you had declined to sign a coalition agreement with the USP because of these same convicts.
The mere fact that a (new) coalition agreement is signed with them as independent members of Parliament now, and not as party members of the USP, is questionable. It makes one wonder if the issue really was with these two convicts or with the USP. Both of these convicts are in a probationary period with a jail term hanging over their heads. Any slip-up could land them directly in jail. Where is the integrity of the NA party now? The damage done to the party is yet to be seen come next election. SHAME on you!
Based on the original document “foundation” signed in 2020 by NA-6 seats / UPP-4 seats, with a total of 10 seats, this Governing Accord was signed to show an agreement to work together and is proof to the Governor of Sint Maarten that the Jacobs II Cabinet held a majority in Parliament.
The Jacobs II Cabinet lost their first seat when MP Christophe Emmanuel left early on, bringing the ten seats to nine. More than a year after, MP Solange Duncan declared herself independent, thus bringing the nine seats to eight seats. Finally, the Jacobs II Cabinet lost their majority when their eight seats became seven, when MP Ludmila de Weever left the coalition. This ultimately means that the Jacobs II Cabinet does not have a majority of eight seats.
As such, Gromyko Wilson is urging the 7 Opposition Members of Parliament to request that the Governor of Sint Maarten, the Honorable Ajamu Baly, instruct the Jacobs II Cabinet to provide him, in writing, the proof that they have a majority of 8 members in Parliament. Additionally, the Governor should also ask Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, to provide him with proof of a new 2022 Jacobs III Cabinet Governing Accord signed by the following 8 Members of Parliament:
* MP William Marlin (NA)
* MP Hyacinth Richardson (NA)
* MP Angelique Romou (NA)
* MP George Pantophlet (NA)
* MP Rolando Brison (UPP)
* MP Siddharth Bijlani (UPP)
* MP Akeem Arrindell (Independent Member)
* Substitute MP Chanel Brownbill – (according to the law he represents the USP faction)
In the interest of the citizens of this country, he should make his answer public so the people of this country may know the truth.
If the Jacobs II Cabinet cannot furnish proof of a majority in Parliament, or if there is no Jacobs III Cabinet, Wilson is urging the Opposition Members of Parliament and the Governor of Sint Maarten to take the right steps and call for new elections right away.
This situation is hurting the democracy and day-to-day operations of this country.
This NA and UPP/ Jacobs II Cabinet have shown on numerous occasions that they won’t hesitate to sell the little our country has left to money and power-hungry thieves in order to continue to “make history!”