At first glance, the political situation seems as murky as ever. After withdrawing his support from the Romeo-Marlin Cabinet on Tuesday, former United Democrats (UD) faction leader Franklin Meyers on Wednesday declared himself an independent Member of Parliament (MP).
But rather than taking the usual route in such cases by using his seat to form a new coalition that would install another government, he declared being open to discuss backing the same coalition.
Confused? So are many readers. It appears Meyers is willing to become a third coalition partner on his own, in addition to – what’s left of – UD and St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP).
Why? Well, that would mean talks in which he could make certain demands; for example, the right to appoint a minister.
This scenario is not that far-fetched, considering that SMCP also has a minister with just one seat. And because there can be only seven cabinet members that would normally mean replacing an existing one most likely from the UD, as that’s the party which lost a seat.
However, there currently so happens to be a vacancy left by former Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Emil Lee that has not yet been filled. It’s no secret that acting UD leader Sarah Wescot-Williams wasn’t very eager to find a successor.
This is because of how a motion of no-confidence by UD parliamentarian Luc Mercelina was passed with help of the opposition against Lee, who had been part of the Democratic Party (DP) headed by Wescot-Williams when it merged with the United People’s (UP) Party led by now-suspended MP Theodore Heyliger after Hurricane Irma to create UD.
As a matter of fact, Parliament President Wescot-Williams’ comment during the closing of the past legislative year about “needing to find the door” if she feels intimidated to take a certain stand on issues may well have been related to this issue.
Exactly what – if anything – will happen remains unclear at this point, but for those who follow local politics these are interesting times, or – to quote late Beatles legend John Lennon: “Strange days indeed.”