Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2024

Pro Soualiga presents elegant solution for conflicts Article 59 of the Constitution with the electoral laws

PHILIPSBURG — The Pro Soualiga Foundation presented a third way to Prime Minister Dr. Luc Mercelina and the Central Voting Bureau chairlady Natahlie Tackling to solve the conflict between article 59 of the Constitution and two electoral laws.

Article 59 states that the new Parliament must be seated within three months after the call for new elections, but if the government wants to adhere to the terms established in electoral laws this is not possible.

The government has in the meantime found a way out, citing exceptional circumstances, that justifies exceeding the three-month term.

See related news: Elections postponed until August 19

In a letter to Prime Minister Mercelina the Pro Soualiga Foundation outlines a different solution. Their formula takes the date of a national decree as May 27 as an example. Then the foundation suggests adding 21 days to give parties the opportunity to register, thus creating a deadline of June 17. To this the foundation adds 42 days (6 weeks) to arrive at postulation day on July 29. So far, so good.

Next the foundation suggests changing the effective date of the May 27 decree into July 29. The election date then becomes Postulation Day (July 29) plus 48 days: September 16. The seating of the new parliament would then take place between 80 and 90 days after postulation day – between October 19 and 29.

The foundation’s secretary Renate Brison points out that the time between the effective date of the national decree (July 29) and October 29 is exactly 90 days.

Elegant solution

“Notice how the Pro Soualiga Foundation avoids breaking any laws?” Brison’s letter states. “On the contrary, it allows all the other electoral laws that have a time limit to be complied with.”

Brison concludes his letter with a request to take the foundation’s solution into serious consideration. To no avail: in consultation with Prime Minister Mercelina and CVB-chairlady Natahlie Tackling, Acting Governor Bird-Lake has in the meantime approved a national decree that sets the date for the elections at August 19, citing exceptional circumstances to justify exceeding the 3-month term established in article 59 of the Constitution with an extra 30 days.


The Pro Soualiga Formula explained

The Pro Soualiga Foundation (PSF) has proposed a solution to address the conflicts between Article 59 of the Constitution and two electoral laws, namely the regulations established in the national ordinance registration and finances political parties and the election ordinance (kiesverordening). Here’s a detailed explanation of how the Pro Soualiga Formula (PSF) as an elegant solution should be implemented in practice:

  • Decree Date (Besluitdatum): The date the decree is published, which could be May 27 as an example.
  • Effective Date (Inwerkingtredingsdatum): Set in the future, not on the same day as the decree date. For example, July 29.
  • 90-Day Period: From the effective date, add 90 days to dissolve parliament, aligning with the Memorie van Toelichting (MvT; Explanatory Notes of the Constitution), which states that dissolution should occur within a certain period after Postulation Day.
  • Voting Registry Closure: Satisfy the Central Voting Bureau’s requirement to close the voting registry within 30 days of the decree.
  • Party Registration: Allow new parties to register within the 6-week time limit (42 days) before Postulation Day.
  • Postulation Day: The day political parties postulate themselves for the elections.
  • Election Day: Set elections 48 days after Postulation Day as required by the Kiesverordening, Article 40.

By setting the effective date in the future and postdating the dissolution of parliament 90 days after Postulation Day, the PSF’s solution resolves the conflicts, ensuring compliance with both Article 59 and the electoral laws. This approach avoids breaking any laws and allows all other electoral laws with time limits to be complied with, thus elegantly solving the issue.

Et Voilà! No more conflicts.


Related news & links:
Elections postponed until August 19
Pro Soualiga Letter to Nathalie Tackling re: Error in LB
Interim elections: “A dilemma about fundamental values”
New elections will be held on July 18
Governor on “current political developments”