Published On: Thu, Nov 9th, 2017

Marlin brushes aside practical objections against elections

William Marlin 20171108 - HH -minPHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister William Marlin says that there are simple solutions for all the concerns that have been vented about the January 8 elections.

The government has freed up a budget of 661,000 guilders for the elections. “Democracy comes at a price,” Marlin noted drily on Wednesday.

The prime minister acknowledged that the post office has been destroyed during Hurricane Irma. “That’s the building, but not the postal workers,” he pointed out.

“A stack of voting cards will come back also this time because the people cannot be found. But the voting cards that cannot be delivered will be at the polling station where these citizens are supposed to vote. They can identify themselves and vote.”

The container that held election paraphernalia like voting booths and ballot boxes has been destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Those booths can be made by a couple of crews in a couple of hours, marlin said and ballot boxes could be borrowed from, for instance, Aruba.

Addressing criticism about the call for elections, Marlin said: “The constitution is leading.”

With that, the prime minister referred to the article that allows the government to dissolve the Parliament after it has received a motion of no confidence. The authority to use the power to dissolve is unconditional and in that sense the government is within its rights.

But MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday that article 59 states that the Parliament can be dissolved by national decree. They key word in this article is ‘can’, she said: “You don’t have to dissolve the Parliament.”

And while nobody is disputing that the government stuck to the rules, many are questioning the timing.