Published On: Tue, Jan 2nd, 2018

NA: Throwing down government had absolutely nothing to do with recovery funds

Dear Editor,

The people of Sint Maarten are growing increasingly frustrated with the uncertain and unstable position that the country was forced into by a few individuals who decided that it would be in their personal interest to bring this government down. Without any regard for the disastrous consequences that such a decision would have for our country and its people, they went full steam ahead hoping that they could gain more political power than that which was awarded to them by the people during the last elections. The outcome of that decision is clear for all to see and thankfully in the upcoming elections Sint Maarteners can make known exactly how they feel about such actions at a time when stability is more than needed.

They wanted us to believe that this new coalition of 8, having so carelessly thrown down government, would have had the ability to speed up the process of receiving recovery funds. Yet, look at where we find ourselves! The actions of this ‘precarious 8’ have now led to even more serious delays of the very relief they promised to deliver. So, in fact, the only thing that has been achieved from their misadventures is that things have now been made even worse than they were for our people.

It is obvious now more than ever that throwing down government had absolutely nothing to do with recovery funds, because it was known to all involved that it would take some time for the funds to be allocated. Instead it was all about being in control of the funds once they arrived in order to do what they are so accustomed of doing at the expense of the country. And here we find the real reason for trying to make the people believe that the recovery funds would not be sent if the former Prime Minister William Marlin did not resign: self-interest. Let there be no mistake, the agreement for the acceptance of funding was signed by the former PM William Marlin prior to the deadline that was set by the Netherlands.

Sint Maarteners can clearly see now who is really prepared to govern and who will continue to fail to address the needs of the people. In the past, the National Alliance attempted to form a coalition with the UPP and was unsuccessful because the Ministers proposed by the UPP could not pass the screening. Fast forward to today and we learn that this same party is unable to submit from their leadership positions any member that can pass a screening. Yet, they were more than ready to support the actions of the leader of the DP. Consider that of all the Ministers that were submitted by the National Alliance everyone of them passed the screening. Furthermore, the former leader of the party William Marlin that was vilified by members of the UPP, screaming that he has to go sooner rather than later, passed the screening multiple times. It is only fair that we ask the general public, how does a party, which cannot even present a minimum of three to four candidates for Minister, serve your interests? The serious allegations that can be found in the media as to why candidate Ministers are failing the screening process should be of great concern to all.

We know that there are some who are against the severity of the screening because they believe that the Dutch are too involved in the process. Whether that is the case or not, we must remember that it was St. Maarten that requested the screening of candidate Ministers because of the many complaints about and history of nepotism, corruption and bad governance. As fate would have it, the very same people who were instrumental in throwing down the government almost 3 months ago are now being burdened by the process they said was so necessary.  The irony appears to be poetic justice and we must remember the value of the screening of candidate Ministers as a key step in the process to ensuring integrity in decision making at the executive level of government.

When the last UPP formateur decided to withdraw himself from heading the process of forming an interim government allegedly because he couldn’t pass the screening, one would have expected that due to the supposed sense of urgency, the UPP Deputy Leader would have continued the process instead of stalling it even further. Who has St. Maarten’s best interest at heart? Which party appears to favor political instability?

The ‘precarious 8’ must ask themselves if this is truly the best way forward. Their candidate Ministers may continue to fail screenings and the outside world will continue to question the motives of the country’s politicians while stalling the recovery funds and process even further. It would best serve the population of this country to have their letter to form government retracted and let the present Ministers take care of business and continue to govern in the best interest of the people. St. Maarten deserves better!

Silveria Jacobs
National Alliance