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Editorial - Something has to give

The latest news last night in the ongoing constitutional saga was that the “new majority” has organised a Parliament meeting of its own to elect a new president, vice-president and second vice-president in place of those of the former UP-led coalition. This obviously will not be a “regular” meeting called by the secretariat on the instruction of the current chairperson and the legality of any decisions taken consequently will no doubt be questioned by those who favour dissolving the legislature and going back to the polls.

When the same thing happened in Curaçao in 2012, the new majority’s gatherings created a situation where at one point there were two different persons claiming to be President of Parliament. The situation is a bit different in St. Maarten now, because President Dr. Lloyd Richardson and Vice-President Leona Marlin-Romeo have made their positions as such available. However, they are still in office and of course Second Vice-President Cornelius de Weever has given no indication he intends to relinquish the post.

In Curaçao the incoming coalition prevailed in the sense that the Governor allowed the formation of a new Government, but it was agreed to make it an interim cabinet and still hold early elections later. The suggestion by proposed new Parliament President Sarah Wescot-Williams to install a NA/DP/USP/Matser/Lake Government for a year and then let the voters choose their 15 representatives again goes in that direction.

The continued political turmoil, while perhaps entertaining, is obviously not in the best interest of the general public. Moreover, there are urgent matters to deal with, including a financial instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers, persistent problems with the 2015 budget and the need to approve one for 2016 by the end of December.

Add to that the alarming crime situation, other law enforcement issues and the disputed Integrity Chamber, and it becomes clear that the country simply can’t afford to stay in limbo much longer. With all due respect for both sides of the argument, something has to give.

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