Published On: Tue, May 7th, 2024

Unified Resilient St. Maarten Movement Expresses (URSM) Disappointment Over Handling of Incoming MPs’ Credentials

PHILIPSBURG — The board of the Unified Resilient St. Maarten Movement (URSM) expresses profound disappointment with the handling of the credentials of incoming Members of Parliament (MP) in recent parliament proceedings. While recognizing the inherent nature of opposition politics, the URSM underscores that the conduct of political affairs must not compromise the efficient execution of the people’s business.

Under Article 45 of the Constitution, Parliament is comprised of 15 members, a legal framework that mandates the filling of vacant seats within the body.

As the law states, when a parliamentarian assumes a ministerial role, their seat is filled by another member from the same political party. This practice is essential for the continuity of our parliamentary system and has been observed in the past, with an expectation for its continuation in the future.

It is imperative to note that failure to fill vacant seats results in non-compliance with Article 45 of the Constitution, rendering Parliament unable to function. Until the credentials of the two members are approved by Parliament and they are sworn in by the Governor, parliamentary proceedings remain stalled. Regrettably, some members outside the coalition are disregarding their oath of office, hindering the functioning of Parliament.

Throughout recent events, including budget meetings and the processing of credentials for incoming MPs, a bipartisan approach has historically fostered effective governance. The URSM emphasizes the importance of upholding such standards to ensure the smooth functioning of democratic processes and the fulfillment of the electorate’s mandate.

The board of the URSM is deeply troubled by what appears to be a lack of political maturity among several opposition MPs. It is evident that some individuals are prioritizing the retention of power over honoring the expressed will of the people of St. Maarten as, it pertains to the vetting of the credentials of the 15 members of Parliament. This process is, and should remain a none political issue as evidenced in the outcomes of the last parliamentary election. A good example is the unanimous appointment of the Chair of Parliament.

As advocates for resilient governance and the protection of democratic principles, the URSM calls upon all political actors to prioritize the collective interests of the populace above partisan agendas. Only through constructive collaboration and a commitment to democratic norms can St. Maarten continue its path towards progress and prosperity.

The URSM remains steadfast in its dedication to promoting transparency, accountability, and effective governance for the betterment of St. Maarten and its citizens.