Published On: Wed, Oct 19th, 2022

Suspended MP Buncamper accuses Council of Advice of dereliction of duty

PHILIPSBURG — Suspended Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper accuses the Council of Advice in a press release of an “apparent dereliction of duty” for its refusal to provide advice on the lawfulness of the constitution’s article 50.2b.

“The position of the Council of Advice is respectfully incorrect and not sustainable,” the press release states. Buncamper adds that this does not take away from the obligation of the parliament and the government to take requisite remedial measures if they are of the opinion that a provision in the Constitution violates higher treaties and/or human rights.

“On June 3 I presented a compelling and detailed analysis to the parliament identifying how article 50.2b has proven to be a violation of international treaties,” Buncamper states in the opening paragraph of his press release.

The release points out the responsibility of the parliament in the field of creating and amending legislation. Since Buncamper sent his request for advice to the parliament on June 3, no action has been taken, other than forwarding his letter to the Council of Advice.

Nevertheless, Buncamper states that the parliament “obviously recognized the national importance of not having an article in the constitution that violates international treaties.” The parliament duly washed its hands of the matter by forwarding the letter to the Council of Advice with a request for providing an advice, something the Council has in the meantime declined to do.

The press release further mentions the “impact and implications of not having the representation of persons duly elected by the St. Maarten electorate. The contested article in the constitution tramples on this right “by a potentially unlawful and thus not binding article in our constitution.”

Buncamper adds for good measure that the position of the Council of Advice is “incomprehensible.” The suspended MP wonders whether the Council would also decline to provide an advice in case the parliament or the government proposes an amendment to the contested article in the constitution. The MP maintains that the parliament is now “unjustly deprived from the advice it solicited.”


Related articles:
Council of Advice declines handling questions about Buncamper’s suspension
Buncamper response to Council of Advice position