PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament Leona Marlin Romeo withdrew the motion she submitted on Wednesday after several discussions were held (caucusing) with the members of parliament sitting on the opposition benches so that the parliament of St. Maarten could form a consensus in dealing with what they describe as a posterity issue. The motion submitted by MP Lloyd Richardson was completely amended based on article 58. Members from the current coalition that formed the majority presented two motions, the first was presented by MP Leona Marlin Romeo which she subsequently withdrew while the second motion was presented by UPP Member of Parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson.
The chairlady of parliament Sarah Wescot Williams had to call for several adjournments in order for the opposition to see and assist in drafting a motion that will address the instruction given to the Governor of St. Maarten on October 17th, 2014 by the Minister of Interior and Overseas Affairs Ronald Plasterk (Kingdom Council). The instruction sent to Governor Holiday basically ordered him not to sign any LB to appoint any Ministers by the current coalition unless they are screened by the Dutch themselves. On Monday several MPs denounced the instruction claiming that it is unconstitutional and it also infrinnges on peoples right to privacy and their information. Monday's meeting was adjourned to Wednesday where the two motions were presented.
During Wednesday's debate the chairlady announced that a third motion was submitted and asked if the MPs that submitted their motions were willing to withdraw their motion. Dr. Lloyd Richardson during his speaker's time asked for an adjournment to caucus with all factions in Parliament in order to get the support of the opposition. After several discussions among the MPs the motion submitted by MP Lloyd Richardson got the full support of the Parliament of St. Maarten. That motion was amended based on article 58 of the rules of order.
That motion states that the Parliament of St. Maarten is not in agreement with the instruction given to Governor Holiday on October 17th 2014, simply because the screening process in St. Maarten has worked thus far in the formation of all the governments that took office since St. Maarten became a country in 2010 the motion further stated that there must be an establishment of a committee to study the reports from the General Audit Chamber, the Do it Right Report better known as the "Bob Wit report" and the PWC report. Said committee must have a budget and timeline to come up with an action plan as to how the recommendations in the various reports will be implemented to enhance and strenghten integrity on St. Maarten since the outgoing government agreed to implement the recommendations in those reports, therefore the incoming government must apply the decisions taken by the outgoing government.
Prior to the passing of the motion Member of Parliament Christopher Emmanuel showed parliament where he was attacked on the Facebook page of the UPP party for statements he made on the floor of Parliament on Monday. Emmanuel even went further and said that the former chairlady of parliament who ran as the number two candidate on the UPP slate said that the leader of the UPP was using the harbor monies as his piggy bank for his pet projects and purchasing of palms trees. Emmanuel said that the number 2 candidate even threatened to take the UPP leader to court for the Back Street project which she claimed was done illegally.
He said Julian Rollocks also a candidate on the UPP 2014 slate was taken to court in 2003 by the leader of the UPP when he published a letter he wrote to the governor stating that there was a mafia type business at the harbor. Emmanuel said Rollocks won that court case and even the judge mentioned that based on the evidence presented to him it really does look like mafia business but cautioned Rollocks not to call anyone a mafia again. Emmanuel said that while he was being attacked by people who wants his support he is not the one that made the statements he mentioned on the floor of parliament on Monday. On Monday Emmanuel said in 2010 he was offered $80,000 to run on the UPP slate and in 2014 when he won a seat in Parliament he was offered $400,000.00 and it eventually climbed to $2M. Emmanuel said on Monday that St. Maarten has gone from buying votes to buying seats. His comments on the floor of parliament created an uproar on the island for the past two days and a heated argument in Parliament on Tuesday between him and MP Johan Janchi Leonard. He also said MP De Weever cautioned persons on Monday to not look at the splinters in other people's eyes and not seeing the plywood in theirs. Emmanuel told MP De Weever before closing his statements that he is trying to take out the splinter in his eyes while not focusing on the 2x4 in his own eyes. Wednesday's meeting was not as argumentative but several Members of Parliament made it clear that while politicians on St. Maarten does not agree on everything whenever the island is under attack politicians do put their differences aside and come together in the interest of their country and people.
It was clear during the constant adjournments that the majority in parliament wanted to get the support of all the MPs in St. Maarten's Parliament therefore they bent over backwards and allowed the Leader of the National Alliance Faction William Marlin change the entire motion before his faction approved it. That motion was passed unanimously without a roll call and it is actually the third motion that was submitted to parliament for approval and not amended motion as stated by MP Lloyd Richardson.
The amended motion was signed by MP Lloyd Richardson, MP Cornelius de Weever and MP Leona Marlin Romeo.