Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2024

MP Jacobs: “There was a lot of infighting in that coalition”

PHILIPSBURG — “I was never part of the recruitment of Kevin (Maingrette) or any other member of parliament,” National Alliance MP Silveria Jacobs said during an interview on Radio 101.5 FM on Monday, May 27.

The former prime minister discussed in the interview political developments after the fall of the Mercelina government and the call for new elections that are now scheduled to take place on August 19. See related story…

Jacobs noted that her party was in a government with the United People’s party (UP) for four years. “This country has been crying for stability,” she said. “During two of those years we have had to deal with crises – the hurricane, Covid-19 and the economic downturn. And all the guns were blazing at the sitting government of National Alliance and UP.”

Jacobs is looking forward to the new elections with confidence.
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“The reset is going to be a good thing for St. Maarten adding that she was surprised to see at least one party going the route of forming a four-party coalition.

She referred to the Dutch electoral system, saying that the system on St. Maarten is a carbon-copy of it. “The things Wilders is pushing are not something the right and the center right can align with. This is why Wilders is not the prime minister, but at least they took their time to see if they could form a compromise government.”

St. Maarten indeed does not have that tradition. Usually parties find each other the day after any elections, thus making the role of an informateur and a formateur rather meaningless.

“We do not have a strong right or a strong left here,” Jacobs said after a question about the lack of ideology within political parties. “We are somewhere in the middle.”

She criticized the  way the four parties – URSM, NOW, PFP and DP – had found each other in a coalition, saying: “One party is speaking strongly about integrity while another party has a member who is under criminal investigation and another one has a conviction that was held up on appeal and there are others with the perception of integrity issues. How can you align with that group while you cannot align with me because of the perception of integrity issues with one of my members?”

Jacobs said that she was well aware of tensions within the four-party coalition. “I knew there were a lot of challenges with the NOW-party not being able to have a minister in the person of Christophe Emmanuel and  the PFP not being able to have a minister in the person of Raeyhon Peterson.”

The defection of NOW-MP Kevin Maingrette also came up in the interview. Jacobs laughed at the notion that either her party or the UP may have made promises to Maingrette in return for his breaking away from the NOW-party. “And now that he is running back, nobody promised him anything? When I spoke with Kevin and heard his story I thought, alright, he is serious and now we can move forward. He felt that he was not respected and that he was being shoved aside. There was a lot of infighting in that coalition, but I was never part of the recruitment of Kevin or any other MP. And by the way, three or four members of the current coalition have done in the past what Kevin has done.”

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