Monday, May 22nd

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News Governor requests judges to evaluate positions in ongoing political impasse

Governor requests judges to evaluate positions in ongoing political impasse

 

GovernorHoliday~ To provide advice in five working days ~

 HARBOUR VIEW--Governor Eugene Holiday has requested that “a special panel of three judges” from the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba and the Constitutional Court of St. Maarten “evaluate the constitutionality of the implementation of the political positions” in the current impasse between Parliament and the Marcel Gumbs Cabinet.

Due to the urgency of the situation, the panel has been requested “to provide an advice within five working days.”

The “independent” panel is specifically requested to evaluate the Constitution in the context of the country’s Constitutional Law to “provide a clear legal position regarding Articles 33, paragraph 2; Article 40; paragraph 2 and Article 59 of the Constitution.”

The Governor met with all parties involved in the impasse on Friday to inform them that he deemed it “prudent” to install the special panel to obtain an urgent advice. “It is evident that this political situation must in the interest of the country be resolved urgently,” he said.

In the meetings, the Governor said he had issued an appeal to the new majority in Parliament and the Council of Ministers “to meet with each other and discuss the matter within the pertinent forum aimed at finding common ground for an orderly constitutional process to avoid having a governance vacuum.”

He said in a press statement issued on Friday afternoon, “Where there is significant disagreement between the parties in regard to the constitutionality, the Governor deems it prudent to encourage parties to arrive at a constitutionally sustainable solution. Parties have been informed that the Governor will take further steps once he receives the judicial position.”

The Governor requested that all parties forming part of the impasse “subject their positions to the common good for the people.” He also encouraged actions “that will foster the resolution of the political differences within the limits of our Constitution” and “maintain and protect the integrity of our constitutional democracy and to foster actions in keeping with our constitution based on the rule of law.”

He said he had “returned the draft decree” to dissolve Parliament and call for elections to the Council of Ministers “without in any way making suggestions regarding the content.” The Marcel Gumbs Cabinet resubmitted the draft national decree to dissolve Parliament and call snap elections on October 15. If the Governor signs the decree St. Maarten may head back to the polls as early as February 2016, just over a year and a half after casting ballots for the present Parliament.

In light of the current political environment and the ongoing debate, the Governor said he considered it important that the population “takes stock of the situation based on facts and free from the ongoing political manoeuvring.” He reemphasised that political debate was “a prerequisite for growth in any democracy.”

The impasse between Parliament and the Council of Ministers started on September 30 when the new National Alliance (NA)-led majority in Parliament passed a motion of no confidence against the cabinet. In response, the cabinet reached a decision a few hours later to call for new elections and dissolve Parliament via a draft national decree that was sent to the Governor to sign. The new coalition wants the Ministers of the now-crumbled United People’s (UP) party-led coalition to resign, but the Ministers want elections.

Since the impasse developed, the governor has consulted with all parties involved “to get clarity” about the political situation. He has “encouraged and warned parties … to adhere to the democratic principles as laid down in our laws, established in and derived from our constitution.”

On the discussions concerning the authorities of Parliament and of the Council of Ministers, the Governor said it was essential to note that in St. Maarten’s dualistic system of government, the authorities of the two bodies are separate and independent, but limited by the rule of law.

“Our parliamentary democracy gives parties the freedom and right to a difference of opinions. This means that within or between the two bodies, differences of opinions can and will arise from time to time,” he said.

“It is not the role of the Governor to dictate the results of differences of political opinions. When political actions result in concerns in regard to their constitutionality, the Governor’s role is to warn and emphasise that it is imperative to only execute decisions that are in keeping with the democratic principles as anchored in St. Maarten’s Constitution.”

Regarding political manoeuvring in Parliament, the Governor said it was not his role to dictate what should or should not be done politically. He is charged, based on the law and his oath on taking office, “to uphold and ensure that the Constitution is upheld, obligated to act in accordance with the law.”

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...