Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2018

Rules and regulations

Hilbert HaarBy Hilbert Haar

We have no shortage of laws, national ordinances and rules and regulation in our little country. What we sorely miss is the will to apply those rules. This appears once more from the questions I have raised about the legality of MP Frans Richardson’s membership of Parliament. For the record: I have nothing against Mr. Richardson personally; it is his particular situation as it relates to the laws of the land that have piqued my interest.

For those who are unfamiliar with the topic a brief summary. Membership of Parliament requires that MPs are residents of St. Maarten. MP Frans Richardson lives on the French side of the island, and therefore – formally at least – in a foreign country. But hey, this is St. Maarten. One island, one people. Right?

The national ordinance registration and finances political parties defines a resident as someone who factually lives on the territory of Dutch St. Maarten.

The Electoral Ordinance, like the Constitution, sets residency as a requirement for membership of Parliament.

Case closed, or so I thought.



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