PHILIPSBURG--Chairperson of Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee for Electoral Reform (AHCER) Member of Parliament (MP) Grisha Heyliger-Marten sent a letter to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on August 5 seeking collaboration on electoral reform, which has been an ongoing process in Parliament.
A subsequent letter was sent to Jacobs on August 23 requesting that she attend an AHCER meeting on September 2 at 10:00am.
Heyliger-Marten’s August 5 letter to Jacobs was prompted by the latter’s recent reports in the local media that she was launching a “multi-pronged campaign on electoral reform.”
Jacobs indicated that the first phase in the process would be conducting a public
survey on electoral reform. In her August 5 letter, Heyliger-Marten reminded Jacobs that over the years AHCER members have been asking for government’s plans and intentions for electoral reform, in order to synchronise efforts to this effect.
As Chair of AHCER and in close consultation with United Democrats (UD) MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, initiator of the committee, MP Heyliger-Marten convened a closed-door AHCER meeting prior to the Parliamentary recess. In this meeting, a number of priority issues were discussed based on a position paper prepared by the Secretariat of Parliament, such as: Electoral System (Constitution and Election Ordinance) , Political Parties (Constitution, Financing and Registration, Election Ordinance), Parliament (Constitution, Election Ordinance), Membership (Constitution and Election Ordinance), Screening Laws (Ministers).
Heyliger-Marten is a firm believer in continuity in government and setting political differences aside in the interest of the greater good for St. Maarten. This is why she reached out to Wescot-Williams in moving the process forward.
Heyliger-Marten requested that Jacobs provide Parliament with an overview of the “multi-pronged campaign,” as well as all other relevant information about the process on which Government has embarked with regard to electoral reform. This information can then be used as input for the dialogue on electoral reform between the government and Parliament, Heyliger-Marten stated in her letter.