NA and UP representatives signing the agreement on Saturday evening.
~ Emmanuel mum on reasons for not signing ~
PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister and National Alliance leader Silveria Jacobs said the National Alliance (NA)/United People’s (UP) party coalition government in no uncertain terms reflects the wishes of the people, as they have been clamouring over the past years for the two largest parties to come together.
She made the statement over the weekend after the two biggest parties coming out of last Thursday’s snap parliamentary election inked a coalition agreement to form the next government for St. Maarten.
“The National Alliance campaigned strongly on stability and providing leadership of integrity and honesty. Therefore, it is from this premise that we expect, with our coalition partner, to work consistently, cohesively and collaboratively in the interest of the people of St. Maarten,” Jacobs said, adding that the recovery of the country and re-instilling trust in the government of St. Maarten are key priorities for the coalition.
“Our people expect stability and good governance. This coalition, formed by the people, intends to give them just that,” she said.
UP leader Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison said the main goal championed throughout the campaign after so many years of instability was a strong, stable government that will focus on and work to improve the quality of life of the people of St. Maarten by tackling pending issues on the executive level and passing legislation in Parliament.
“We believe this coalition agreement between the National Alliance and UP gives our country a stable government that understands that at this point in our history we must get this right for our people. We must above all put them first and that starts with stable, serious governing,” Brison said.
NA and UP signed the coalition agreement on Saturday evening. The agreement will see the two largest parties coming out of the January 9 Parliamentary election form a solid majority in the next Parliament of St. Maarten, and, most important, a stable government for the next four years, the two parties said in the release.
Under the coalition agreement, NA will appoint the Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI, Minister of Justice, Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Prime Minister, Vice Chair of Parliament and second Vice Chair of Parliament.
UP will appoint the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT), Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA, Chairperson of Parliament and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary.
NA’s sitting MP and MP-elect Christophe Emmanuel did not sign the agreement and did not respond to calls and requests for a comment from this newspaper over the weekend. Jacobs said mid-afternoon Sunday that Emmanuel had still not signed and he had not contacted her or the board.
In the meantime, Emmanuel said in a post on Facebook on Sunday, in which he thanked his family and supporters, that “as in the past, I will represent my country to the best of my abilities. To my National Alliance family, I would like to congratulate us as a team and encourage us to continue working together in the best interest of our country.”