Published On: Fri, Apr 21st, 2017

Disappointment about absence opposition

GREAT BAY – The third and last day of a central committee meeting yesterday afternoon about the governing program was more about the absence of the opposition UP party than about the program’s content. Ministers Rafael Boasman (Justice) and Silveria Jacobs (Education) were present to answer questions, but none came and the meeting was done within three quarters of an hour.

USp-leader MP Frans Richardson, DP-MP Perry Geerlings and also Parliament’s President MP Sarah Wescot-Williams all criticized the absence of the UP from the meeting, while on the other hand they had nothing but compliments for the government about the governing program.

“Unfortunately, the members of the opposition choose to play games by signing in for the meeting and then leaving,” Richardson observed. I will not question the government about the program, since we were part of putting it together. But it is unfortunate that the UP chooses not to participate.”

DP-MP Geerlings described the behavior of the opposition as “very disappointing” and he also showed his own disappointment: “When I entered the political arena I thought I could contribute to building this nation. But what is happening here right now is being keenly watched by the people – and they hand out the report cards. If the people condone this behavior they become co-responsible for it. We are here on the people’s time and money and this is the opportunity to question the government. That’s what we are here for.”

Geerlings went one step further: “If you are not interested in interacting with the government why show up at all for subsequent meetings of Parliament? This is very disappointing. We are being watched in the region and like this we cannot be taken seriously. Everything we do here can be held against us; please be aware of that.”

MP Wescot-Williams too, said that the governing program is “a prime instrument for debate and for interaction between the government and the Parliament.”

“Not having this debate is an opportunity lost for the people of St. Maarten and that, I regret.”