PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Tuesday, May 21st  during a press briefing, MP Wescot confirmed what she had  posted on Facebook on Monday, that she had made the position as president of parliament available. This she explained was to preempt the move  by the “new” coalition in parliament to dismiss the current presidium of parliament, including herself. 

The MP also confirmed that both vice-chairpersons, MP Emmanuel and MP Gumbs had done the same.

“It has been evident for some time that the NA and UP parties have been lobbying intensively to lure one or more of the coalition members to their side, in order to command a majority in parliament”, the veteran MP stated. And added, “lobbying is too decent a word to describe what was really taking place”.

And referring to the embarrassing  parliamentary meeting of May 20th, MP Wescot stated that, after many rumors and change-of-hearts, it was evident on Monday, May 20th what and who the 2 opposition parties had roped in. MP Wescot emphasized “ yes, opposition , because these 2 parties have acted in opposition to the people of St. Maarten.

The MP continued   that this is an uneasy relationship and thus the NA and UPP continue with their tactics, baiting their next victim.

“In their eagerness, they showed their hand prematurely with their ill-conceived motion of no confidence against 3 of the 5 ministers of the Mercelina cabinet,  thereby setting the stage for the counteraction by the government’s invoking of article 59, dissolving parliament.”

The NA/UPP/KM group believes that their control of parliament will allow the revocation of the article 59 decree by the government. That is wishful thinking, added MP Wescot.

“It is unfortunate, but in my view  understandable, that this decision was made by the government of St. Maarten. Unfortunately, because  the people of St. Maarten anxiously waited on the Mercelina government to right the many wrongs that were camouflaged by the previous government. Now we have to pause to react to this underhanded development, by means of “hitting” back at parliament.

Where does that leave us now? 

With a  very shaky new majority in parliament and yet   another  parliamentary  election in the near future. Two elections in 1 year, 6 months apart. A government that assumed  the reigns under some very troublesome conditions in the areas of government finances, healthcare cost, immigration management, understaffing in every area of government, weak infrastructure and utilities.

Not to speak of the looming crisis, due to climate change and indebtedness due to loans etc.

Albeit that the Democratic Party willingly and wholeheartedly  joined with the other 3  political parties to take St. Maarten out of the doldrums, left by the previous administration,  it  is clear that we are barely existing  on the annual budget of the country and that a new financial model is  urgently needed. This however requires serious and knowledgeable negotiations and planning by an a-political team. The preliminary findings of the Mercelina cabinet only underscore the urgency of  having a  continuation of government as soon as humanly possible, the DP leader concluded.