PHILIPSBURG:--- Former St. Maarten Prime Minister William Marlin believes that the move by The Hague to dissolve the St. Eustatius Island Council, send the Executive Council and Acting Island Governor home and replace them with a Dutch Government-appointed Commissioner, is a dangerous precedent.
“It is sad that in the 21st Century, we still have this form of colonial developments in the region and so close to home where the elected representatives of an island is put aside by others”, Marlin said on Sunday, while responding to a question on the radio programme Breakfast with de Robert on The Voice of St. Maarten.
“While St. Eustatius does not have the same constitutional status that St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba have as countries within the Dutch Kingdom, it still is wrong when a decision is taken from so far away to set aside an entire government apparatus. It makes people feel so inferior. If the people of Statia choose those people to represent them, then that is the will of the people. Those are the representatives that they have chosen. Philosophers say everyone gets the government they deserve. You cannot force people to accept a different government”, he said.
“If elections were held and people did not vote their conscience or elections were rigged and people tampered with the polls to ensure that one party gets favor over another, then we can say that something went wrong. But if the Statia government is not working in the interest of the Statia people then when election comes, the people of Statia would have to take that decision to elect different representatives, but for The Hague to send home everyone else and bring in someone from the former Netherlands Antilles from Curacao and give that person all the power and authority to hire and fire and to answer only to the Dutch State Secretary - that is a dictatorship. It is very dangerous and should not be happening in the 21stCentury”, Marlin contended.