US Party leader Pamela Gordon-Carty.
PHILIPSBURG--United St. Maarten (US Party) believes the absence of a quorum for a meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament last week on the Unity Flag highlights the improper application of proportional representation.
“On the eve of celebrations to commemorate St. Maarten Day, the Parliament of St. Maarten was unable to establish a quorum to continue the Central Committee meeting on further solidifying the oneness of the people of St. Martin by means of acknowledging the unity flag,” the party said in a statement.
“The resulting six out of 15 Members of Parliament sitting as independent Members of Parliament, which is inconsistent with the election of Members of Parliament by proportional representation as stated in the Constitution, has further solidified the United St. Maarten Party position laid out in an article released in December 2021.”
“We have expeditiously sent a letter of inquiry to the Central Voting Bureau. Which is responsible to execute our proportional representation election and ensure said composition in Parliament as mandated in the Constitution within the limits of the Election Ordinance. A development that would have averted Tuesday’s [November 8, 2022 – Ed.] non-quorum in Parliament and further safeguard good governance,” said party leader Pamela Gordon-Carty.
The inquiry asked the Central Voting Bureau to provide the statutory basis for Members of Parliament to declare themselves as independent Members of Parliament. An action that appears to conflict with the Constitution and the Election Ordinance.
“Adherence to the Constitutional mandated proportional representation would have ensured a quorum in Tuesday’s Parliamentary Central Committee meeting and equally ensure United St. Maarten Party control of the two seats it rightfully won in the January 2020 parliamentary election,” continued Gordon-Carty.
The party submitted the letter to the chair of the Central Voting Bureau, the governor, the Council of Ministers, Parliament and the Electoral Council.
“The absence of a timely and definitive response from the Central Voting Bureau would leave us with no other alternative than to seek answers from the Kingdom [of the Netherlands]. Considering that the Kingdom is charged with good governance in its constituent states and intervenes if one of the constituent states does not adequately perform those duties or provide for those matters, which normally fall within the scope of their administrative task. (Article 51, Annex II, Explanatory Memorandum of the Charter for the Kingdom (of the Netherlands) The United St Maarten Party is committed to proper governance for the people of St. Maarten and advocates that the specific laws are adhered to”, concluded Gordon-Carty.