Published On: Tue, Dec 10th, 2019

MP Samuel files an initiative to prevent frequent elections

MP Rodolphe Samuel

PHILIPSBURG — MP Rudolphe Samuel has taken an initiative in the Parliament of St. Maarten to amend article 59 of the Constitution which deals with the calling for new elections after the Parliament is dissolved for one reason or the other. He noted that when the Council of Ministers is given a “vote of non-confidence” they are known to invoke article 59 of the Constitution which automatically triggers new elections.

He pointed out that this act of conducting new elections each time has been criticized by the community since it is seen as a burden to the people and it involves huge finances to hold a new election. “To prevent the frequent dissolution of Parliament which triggers new election I will be using article 85 to bring a change to article 59,” Samuel explained. Article 85 regards the right of initiative of one or more members of parliament to propose a draft national ordinance.

Samuel suggests that in the event that the Council of Ministers invokes article 59 when there is a majority in parliament the dissolving of Parliament will be ineffective. In case the Council of Ministers invokes article 59 and there is no majority in Parliament then there must be a grace period for 30 days and if there is still no majority in Parliament then there must be an election.

Samuel stated that the members of Parliament is given the right to come up with initiatives and has the authority to use the Clerk to assist them in drafting these initiative ordinances. He explained that this was done in his case and as a result he has registered it in Parliament to have a draft initiative ordinance developed.

“The draft initiative will be sent to the Council of Advice and then will be sent back for discussion in the Central Committee of Parliament, then to the public meeting of Parliament to be debated and voted on,” Samuel said.

This new initiative which was presented by MP Samuel will prevent the frequent calling of snap elections as it was the case in the past.


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