PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — This is the statement that apparently caused the bombshell statement by the leader of the Democratic Party and Chairlady Sarah Wescot-Williams during a tension-filled parliamentary meeting on Friday last.
It was clear even before the Chairlady’s “announcement” on Friday that the ire of Democratic Party was invoked, when DP member Perry Geerlings in no uncertain terms disagreed with the Prime Minister’s handling of especially the request for aid from the Netherlands.
To make matters worse, Minister Emmanuel’s statement was reiterated on October 26, 2017, as follows: “I have said it before and I will say it again anyone agreeing with the conditions should not be part of this government. The game playing need to stop and stop now! I am asking every member of Parliament and Minister to state your position. Are you in agreement with the conditions. Yes or No.”
None of these statements were countered by Prime Minister William Marlin and therefore seemingly endorsed by the Prime Minister.
The position of the DP has always been one of “people first” and therefore we take the stand that it is urgent that since we do not have our own disaster aid funding, help is needed.
We can not risk Dutch aid being tied up without a alternative. Despite the talks, no tangible alternative has been presented to us for sure.
The DP has consistently advocated for the strengthening and development of relationships with many partners but certainly prioritizing cooperation with kingdom partners. Naturally open dialogue, mutual trust and mutual respect are fundamental for the development of any relationship.
The attempts of coalition partners to censor, stifle or attack differences of opinions is clearly against DP party philosophy and certainly against all democratic principles. The duly elected representatives of the DP have sworn an oath to protect and care for the people of our great country. The DP has an obligation to stay true to the principles of integrity and good governance on which it campaigned.
This same inflexible attitude of coalition partners towards the DP is the same attitude that has lead to the strained relationship with the Netherlands which has translated into poor communications, lack of trust, lack of cooperation. This has resulted in stalling the reconstruction process and flow of recovery funds which is so desperately needed by the people of St Maarten.