News that the United Democrats (UD)/St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) coalition had asked several ministers to resign spread like wildfire. Many feared there might be a change in government or even another early election, but that is – at least for now – not the case.
It regards only two of the seven members of the Romeo-Marlin cabinet, the rest of whom can apparently still count on the current – minimum – majority backing in Parliament. Unless that changes there is thus no political crisis.
The sudden move is nevertheless highly unusual, while the reasons mentioned raise more questions than they answer. After all, Minister Miklos Giterson’s drunk-driving conviction doesn’t become irrevocable until after his appeal options have been exhausted and it’s not exactly corruption or murder either.
And blaming Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever for “Dutch infiltration in the justice system” sounds rather simpleminded and unrealistic. The large law enforcement presence from the Netherlands has more to do with agreements made by many of his predecessors and others, consensus kingdom laws, plans of approach, technical assistance and the simple lack of local alternatives for functions such as prosecutors and police officers.
Giterson making his position available to Governor Eugene Holiday in any case seems to indicate he is ready to step down. Refusal to do so would obviously result in a motion of no-confidence.
Whatever the motives behind this demand for their departure, the UD/SMPC coalition had better have some good successors ready for these two ministers who can be quickly screened and installed. The last thing the country needs as it continues to recover from the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record is delays in decision-making and action by government due to newcomers still having to learn the ropes.
Whoever comes in under the present circumstances needs to very much hit the ground running.