Published On: Fri, Sep 27th, 2019

Individual MPs to nominate incoming ministers, a new phenomenon, says Sarah

Sarah Wescot-Williams

PHILIPSBURG — In the very first meeting chaired by MP Marlin on Wednesday, September 25th, a motion was allowed to be tabled and passed, the motion having nothing to do with the agenda points on education, explains MP Sarah Wescot-Williams in a press release.

Wescot-Williams: “The rhetoric against the former chair, started by some MPs, who now form the majority, regarding the Rules of Order of parliament, is swiftly coming back to haunt them.”

According to Wescot-Williams, article 45 of the Rules of Order of Parliament states: “A member who has the floor may submit motions CONCERNING THE SUBJECT BEING DELIBERATED. Such a motion must be formulated concise and clear……..etc.”

“You have to have a very, very good imagination to make a connection between the agenda points of Wednesday’s meeting and the motion which was passed.” states Wescot-Williams. “I hope that the coalition MPs will exhibit the same vigor and zest for the rules under the chairmanship of MP Marlin.”

Now to the motion…

A cabinet that is a caretaker cabinet gets a motion of no confidence, because it invoked article 59. We should recall that the William Marlin cabinet made his cabinet’s resignation part of the deal to invoke article 59 (election) under much more dire circumstances, the aftermath of hurricane Irma.

Now, from the September 25th motion, two ministers, the Prime Minister and the Justice Minster should “be removed from office”. By whom? When the very same ministers have to pass their own dismissal decree.

Furthermore, the hands of the caretaker ministers who remain are tied for suspiciously convenient issues, government-owned companies, appointments, contracts, personnel etc..

What can these ministers actually do, if the motion was (to be) executed?

If the two ministers were to resign (and mind you, they have to make their own dismissal decree) and we go according to substitution, this is what the government will look like:

W. Smith acting for PM
W. Smith acting for Justice
W. Smith acting for Education
Chris Wever acting for Public Health
Chris Wever acting for VROMI
Stuart Johnson acting for TEATT
Perry Geerlings acting for Finance.

You could say, we would still have 4 ministers, a majority of the 7, but are we serious? They are All caretaker ministers., because the Prime Minister tendered her cabinet’s resignation already.

At the end of the day, motion or no motion, the ministers have to uphold their oath of office and leave their office in a responsible way and time. And there is nothing anyone can do about their decision.

I am disappointed that this political saga is playing out the way it is, because I really would have liked to see what exactly this new coalition wants “its” ministers to do?

Remember the Mercelina motion against Emil Lee? Who will be the new ministers and is it indeed so that practically every individual MP of the new coalition will nominate his/her minister? So e.g MP X proposes minister Y, MP XX proposes minister YY.

I guess, we will just have to wait and see.

But truly, this can not continue like this.

Sarah Wescot-Williams, MP