Dr. Mercelina gives update on the Formation


March 28, 2024

As the appointed formateur, Dr. Luc Mercelina, I recognize the growing concerns among the public regarding the timing of the swearing-in ceremony for the members of the new Council of Ministers.

Today, March 28, 2024, I have provided His Excellency the Governor of Sint Maarten with the latest developments in my role as formateur. In light of our commitment to transparency, I deem it appropriate to offer the public an update on the ongoing formation process.

Firstly, it is crucial to understand the dual nature of the formateur’s mandate. Initially, I am tasked with ascertaining the presence of a parliamentary majority to establish a new government. Subsequently, the formateur is responsible for submitting the outcomes of the screening process, ensuring the eligibility of candidate ministers, thus paving the way for the swearing-in ceremony.

I am pleased to confirm that the first aspect of the mandate has been fulfilled. The coalition majority ratified a political agreement on January 12, 2024, followed by the endorsement of a Governing accord on February 21, 2024. Additionally, the nominated candidate ministers continue to await the outcome of the screening, with all necessary information duly furnished to the relevant authorities being PG and VDSM as stipulated by national decree.

The second phase of the assignment mandates the formateur to await the screening results from the designated institutions, as neither the formateur nor the Governor possesses the authority to intervene in this process. It is pertinent to note that the national decree does not specify a timeline for the completion of these screenings.

To provide context, historical data indicates an average duration of almost two months between the swearing-in of parliamentary members and the inauguration of the Council of Ministers. For instance, following the 2020 elections, while parliamentary members were sworn in on February 10, 2020, the Council of Ministers took office on March 28, 2020.

In light of the recent elections, where parliamentary members were sworn in on February 10, 2024, adhering to the aforementioned average timeline would entail the swearing-in of the new Council of Ministers by, for example, April 10th. Notably, this calculation includes the two-week period allotted for informateurs, although in this instance, the formation process commenced directly with the appointment of the formateur.

In conclusion, I wish to assure the public that both the formateur and the newly formed majority remain steadfast in our commitment to expeditiously swear in the new Council of Ministers. Our collective aim is to commence governance in the best interests of the people of Sint Maarten.

Dr. Luc Mercelina