Published On: Tue, May 7th, 2024

Still no quorum for credentials approval meeting in Parliament

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PHILIPSBURG — Today’s continuation of a public meeting of Parliament to vet the credentials of incoming members of Parliament Viren Kotai (DP) and Richinel Brug (URSM) failed to achieve quorum after Thursday’s first attempt also failed. Roll call proved that the meeting of Parliament with a significant presence of both coalition and opposition members no longer had a quorum as the opposition members walked out after MP Egbert Jurendy Doran triggered the call for a roll call.

Critical to the failure to make a quorum today is the absence of MP Ludmila De Weever of the PFP party and the absence of MP Christophe Emmanuel of the NOW party. De Weever gave notice of her scheduled absence in writing to the Parliament as she had scheduled a trip off-island over month ago during the weeks she had expected Parliament to have no meetings scheduled. Little did she realized her absence would draw so much attention and cause so much controversy. StMaartenNews.com attempted unsuccessfully to contact De Weever via phone and whatsapp, however in a message she promised to call back. StMaartenNews.com is still expecting De Weever to give us a statement on the matter.

MP Christophe Emmanuel absence on the other hand is without any proper notification nor explanation other than a rumored reason of “going to get pressure pills.” Political pundits all over the island are left wondering what game Emmanuel is playing. According to a post on MP Sjamira Roseburg Facebook page, Emmanuel is scheduled to attend a live broadcast together with MP Sarah Wescot-Williams and Roseburg on Tuesday, May 7, at 2pm. That remains to be seen since some members of parliament are scheduled to travel to Paraguay for a Parlatino meeting on Wednesday, May 8, of which Emmanuel is said to be a member of that travel delegation that will be leaving today, Monday, May 6, or tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7, depending on available flight arrangements. The Parlatino meeting in question is the 20th ParlAmericas Plenary Assembly and the 8th Gathering of the Open Parliament Network, in Asunción, Paraguay, from May 8-10, 2024.

After a period of relative silence, the National Alliance faction in the Parliament of St. Maarten issued a press release on the evening of Monday, May 6, 2024. The press statement highlights a crisis of confidence within the 2×4 coalition, citing recent events where coalition members failed to attend crucial meetings, raising doubts about their ability to govern effectively. The absence of key members during important parliamentary sessions underscores internal divisions and questions the coalition’s cohesion and stability. The faction calls for honesty and transparency from the coalition in addressing these challenges to regain the trust of the electorate.

Notable in the press release is a quote from MP Cloyd Marlin of the National Alliance faction that “a house divided cannot stand.” MP Silveria Jacobs stated that she was concerned and found it important to note that throughout her tenure in government she was constantly bombarded with the question whether her government had a majority support in Parliament or not. Jacob laid the blame squarely at the feet of the 2×4 coalition for not providing the quorum for this public meeting to approve the credentials of the new incoming members.

Related link: Public meeting of Parliament to approve credentials incoming MPs

During his period of notification, MP Ottley questioned the chair directly, “How long will you continue to attach your face to a government of chaos?” How long will you attach your face to a coalition that obviously does not show up, he asked. Ottley also issued a press release this evening.

Making sure to make a good first impression with his signature move of buttoning up his jacket, MP Egbert Jurendy Doran stated that he considers the resignation letters of the outgoing members of Parliament Luc Mercelina and Grisha Heyliger to be “questionable” and “semi-borderline fraudulent.” The question remains unanswered as why these two outgoing members did not timed their departure after their coalition had vetted the credentials of their replacement MPs. Is this a matter of lack of proper planning, MP Ottley asks in his press release.

A subsequent proposal from MP Doran visibly caught the Chairlady of Parliament off-guard when he asked for an adjustment of the agenda to include two new points, namely to dissolve the Presidium of Parliament and appoint a new Presidium(*). After the initial refusal to accommodate his request was denied by the President of Parliament, Doran asked to allow the members of parliament to vote on his proposal. This point of order was also denied by the chair, after which MP Ardwell Irion called for a roll call, with the result that the opposition members of parliament walked out, leaving only MPs Kevin Maingrette (NOW), Sjamira Roseburg (URSM) and Melissa Gumbs (PFP) behind, and left the meeting without a quorum, leaving Chairlady Sarah Wescot-Williams (DP) no other option but to adjourn the meeting.

To be continued…

Related articles:
Public meeting of Parliament to approve credentials incoming MPs
NA faction asks: “Does the 2×4 Coalition Members of Parliament Have Confidence in their Government?”
MP Ottley Questions Coalition’s Ability to Govern Amidst the Chaos in Parliament
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Sidebar: Roland Duncan calls walk out ‘political abuse’

PHILIPSBURG — Former Minister of Justice, Roland E. Duncan called the ‘walk out’ of the opposition in today’s Parliament meeting ‘political abuse’. This statement was made on his personal Facebook page. However, screenshots of the statement went viral on social media.


Visual Satire: Super 7

Image caption: Taken from social media. Super 7 walk out of Parliament today.


(*) The Presidium runs the daily operations of Parliament. The Griffier is the Secretary General of the Presidium. The Presidium is chaired by the President of Parliament (Sarah Wescot-Williams) and two Vice Presidents of Parliament (Christophe Emmanuel as 1st and Melissa Gumbs as 2nd Vice President). If the opposition gets control of the Presidium, they can control the scheduling of meeting and the agenda of Parliament, among other things.