Published On: Sat, Jun 29th, 2019

Mercelina-motion tackles Minister Lee

MP Luc Mercelina - Budget Presentation 24 June 2019

PHILIPSBURG – United Democrats rookie MP Luc Mercelina tabled a motion of no-confidence against Public Health Minister Emil Lee during the budget debate on Friday. The motion has the support of all seven members of the opposition, so when it comes to a vote when the debate continues on Tuesday it is likely to pass.

“It is not about the person, it is about the country,” Mercelina said. His motion reads like a lengthy yet feeble indictment against Minister Lee. It begins with the reproach that the minister has presented “no evidence of restoring a strong social fabric” after Hurricane Irma and that no social housing projects (a responsibility of the Ministry of VROMI) have been initiated.

Furthermore, the motion starts that the minister has made little progress with legislation to stop the abuse of short term labor contracts, that so far no new hurricane shelters have been built and that there are no guidelines for the admission of highly skilled medical professionals.

Another grief is that seven months after the groundbreaking ceremony in December, the construction of the new hospital has not started yet and that canceling the contact with VAMED came at a cost of $1 million. Mercelina also holds Minister Lee accountable for what he called the bad financial situation at SZV, while the minister still maintains that SZV is financially fit to invest in the construction of the new hospital.

Mercelina presented his motion after he announced a “constitutional revolution.” His ten-point program for this so-called revolution calls for dollarization, the establishment of the Central Bank of St. Maarten and diminishing the Dutch presence in the country.

Mercelina also wants to “cancel the Cft,” make English the country’s first language and add “color and Caribbean flavor to the judicial system.” He also wants to stop taking loans from the Dutch government and instead explore the international market to finance the country’s needs.

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