Governor Ajamu Baly has not yet sent unsigned National Decrees to the king

Governor Ajamu Baly has not yet sent  unsigned National Decrees to the king

PHILISPBURG--Governor Ajamu Baly has not yet forwarded the two unsigned National Decrees for candidate Ministers Raeyhon Peterson and Christophe Emmanuel to the Kingdom Council of Ministers in The Hague for annulment, as required by Article 21 of the Regulations for the Governor of St. Maarten. The Daily Herald has learned that this step has not been taken, though the reason for the Governor's non-compliance remains unclear.

  As the representative of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in St. Maarten and the head of the Government of St. Maarten, Governor Ajamu Baly has held office since October 10, 2022. His powers are delineated in the regulations as both a local and Kingdom authority.

  Article 21 of the regulations stipulates: "The Governor shall not adopt a national ordinance or a national decree proposed to him if he considers the ordinance or decision to be in conflict with the Statute, an international regulation, a Kingdom law, or a general measure of government administration, or with interests the care or safeguarding of which is a matter of the Kingdom. He shall immediately notify the King as the head of the government of the Kingdom."

  Relevant National Decrees undergo review by the Kingdom Council of Ministers, which subsequently forwards them to the Council of State, serving as the highest general administrative court and an independent advisor on legislation and administration. At this stage, the Council of State assesses whether the Governor's decision not to sign the National Decree is justified.

  On April 24, 2024, Governor Baly publicly announced via a press release to the people of St. Maarten that he intended to sign only 7 out of the 9 National Decrees to be presented by the Council of Ministers, of which he is the head. This announcement was made prior to the Secretary of the Cabinet of the Governor receiving the nine National Decrees.

  Two days subsequent to the Governor's announcement, formateur Luc Mercelina issued a corrective statement, addressing the apparent discrepancy in the proposed number of candidate ministers slated for May 3. “It has come to the attention of the Formateur that there may have been confusion regarding the proposed number of candidate ministers. While the Governor's statement suggested seven candidate ministers, it is imperative to note that nine candidate ministers were included in the final report submitted by Formateur Dr. Luc Mercelina as part of the government formation process in his report.”

  Dr. Mercelina reaffirmed that “the inclusion of nine candidate ministers in the final report is accurate and reflective of the comprehensive deliberations and considerations undertaken during the formation process."

    On Saturday, May 4, Governor Baly received a letter from Candidate Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI asking the Governor to clarify why he refused to sign the National Decree for the appointment of Peterson as VROMI Minister in the just installed Mercelina-led cabinet.

  Peterson is in possession of a positive screening advice, as per the National Security Department VDSM report issued on April 15, 2024, and received a Certificate of Good Conduct VOG from Minister of Justice Anna Richardson on February 7, 2024, confirming that the Prosecutor’s Office has no record of activities that could be held against the Candidate Minister. The VOG was specifically requested as part of the screening process, with the review done under auspices from the Solliceter-General.

  In response to this newspaper’s inquiries, Secretary of State Alexandra van Huffelen’s spokeswoman Karin Fraai referred The Daily Herald to the Governor of St. Maarten for answers as to when, on what day, the two unsigned documents had been sent to the Kingdom Council of Ministers for review. “We are not aware of this,” Fraai said.

The Daily Herald

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