Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2023

Concerned Citizen Calls for Accountability and Integrity in Sint Maarten Government

Dear Mr. Editor,

Please allow me some space in your newsletter to comment on the Press Release as issued by the National Alliance for the anniversary of 10-10-10. This Press Release appears to have come about as a response to the many allegations circulating on social media. These allegations refer to the many conflicts of interest that are plaguing the present Government of Sint Maarten and by extension the inhabitants that government is called to serve.

Allow me first to remark that as a voter who in the last election voted for the National Alliance, I found the tone to be condescending, arrogant, admonishing and void of a sense of accountability to the people of Country Sint Maarten, who voted in the last election and who are hoping to do so in the upcoming election. In the press release it is clearly implied that power is might and might is right.

I dare say that many voters are disappointed whether they are supporters of the National Alliance or not. The direction the National Alliance wishes to take the Country is not a good one. Government ought to work for everyone and not only for the chosen few.

Even if the alleged claims are only 1% true, these allegations are 1% too much. Besides being disrespectful to the people of Sint Maarten, the Press release exposes a great disrespect for the rule of law and order and the constitution of Country Sint Maarten.

The Integrity Chamber came about because the former Governor of Sint Maarten, noticed that the problems concerning the integrity of the administration and the constitution, identified in various reports, required an adequate and decisive approach to improve the situation that was observed and decreed the Federal Ordinance on Integrity on August 21, 2015.

The Integrity Chamber in Sint Maarten is not functioning well. The Integrity Chamber is a toothless tiger. The administration, meaning Government is not cooperating to police itself.  It is known and clear to everyone that the Integrity Chamber is not an enforcer. The Press Release seeks to further obstruct and undermine the very reason why the Federal Ordinance on Integrity was decreed in the first place back in 2015.

Mr. Editor, the Press Release is further evidence that Sint Maarten has no self-cleansing ability. This Press Release by the National Alliance is the clearest admission and by extension an invitation to the Dutch to come in and take matters into their own hands. After all the Dutch must protect their financial interest. That will be their excuse to take over. When that day comes, I hope an “afpak team” will be part of their tool kit.

The Press release further makes it clear to all that Sint Maarten lacks the will to develop a set of rules and behavior that can be termed “good governance”. In the meantime, the people continue to suffer and be oppressed and lied to.

John Aurelius Richardson