There can never be any justification for deviating from the constitution. Confusion over the difference between the date of an LB and Its effective dote
Result: Parliament has not been dissolved and new elections have not been called
PHILIPSBURG:--- A private citizen with legal background summoned Governor Eugene Holiday to revoke the Landsbesluit he signed on to that would dissolve the parliament of St. Maarten and call early elections.
The letter states that based on the law that governs country St. Maarten the following:
Between the effective date of the Landsbesluit, Oct. 3, and the sitting of the new parliament Feb.10, 2020 there lies a time span of 4 months and 7 days. (October 3 to Feb. 10= 4 months and 7 days) This is in violation of art. 59 para 2 of the constitution of SXM. Between the effective date of the LB and the sitting of a new Parliament a maximum of three months is allowed to elapse.
Bizarre and contradictory considerations in the LB
The LB contains at least three controversial or plainly wrong considerations:
1. The deviation from article 59 para 2 of the Constitution is justified
2. An LB calling for elections cannot be revoked
3. The LB goes into effect on October 3 but is retroactive to September 24th.
We shall concern ourselves with the deviation from the constitution since that is the most consequential error in the LB.
Contrary to what the LB states, there can never ever be any grounds for deviating from art. 59 para 2 of the Constitution of Country SxM. Any deviation is therefore unconstitutional and unlawful.
Here are some key dates from the LB: LB Date: October 3, 2019
Effective date: October 3, 2019
Postulation: November 21, 2019
Election: January 9,2019
New Parliament: Feb. 10, 2020
Time elapsed between effective date and new parliament: 4 months and 7 days
Confusion about dates:
Reading this LB makes it clear that the writers of this LB are confused, or ignorant of the fact that the date of an LB and its effective date need not be the same. An LB can be dated October 3, but effective November 21. In other words, until November 21st arrives, the LB has no legal force. This is a very common practice and makes it all the more questionable why the writers of this LB seem oblivious of this fact.
Illustration of how the effective date works: The LB should have been:
LB date: :Oct 3
Effective date: Nov. 21
Postulation date: December 1(between 80 to 90 days of New Parliament, Feb. 21, 2020 and the effective date of LB, November 21, 2019 ( kiesverordening art. 21)
New Parliament Feb. 21,2020 (art. 59 para 2 canst. sxm)
Note how between November 21and February 21there is a time-lapse of exactly three months? The window for new parties to register
Notice how this creates the space for new parties to register? If postulation date is December 1, the cut
off date for new parties to register is October 20, or exactly 6 weeks before postulation date. This gives new parties between October 3, which is the date of the LB or the date on which elections are announced, and the cut-off date of October 20, or a leisurely 17, days to register.
The beauty of it is that this is all accomplished within the three months prescribed by article 59 of the
More confusion: the issue of retroactivity
The composers of this LB once more create confusion when they state that this LB is retroactive to September 24, after declaring that it goes into effect on October 3. This in effect creates two effective dates; one on October 3, and the other on September 24. Clearly something is amiss here. Both dates cannot be valid. Whatever the intentions of the writers were, it is not readily apparent from what has ended up in the LB. This brings into question the question of legal advice and the careful drafting of legal instruments. Country SxM deserves better than shoddy and hastily thrown together legal instruments that create more uncertainty than already prevails. It also brings into question the competence of those entrusted with the people's business.
In addition, making this LB retroactive to September 24 causes an even greater timespan between the date of the LB and the dissolution of Parliament, which as stated in the LB is February 10, 2020.
Between September 24 and February 10, there is a time-lapse of 4 months and 17 days, which is an even greater violation of the constitution. Clearly this LB is muddled and needs to be revoked!
This LB is a self-confessed violator of the constitution. It cannot, therefore, call into being any legal consequences, regardless to how well-intentioned. As the LB itself states: The principle of a democratic state under the rule of law...requires adherence to the constitution at all times.
Therefore, Parliament has not been lawfully dissolved nor elections lawfully called. We are where we
were on October 2nd.
Sad part of this saga; all so unnecessary:
The sad part of this torturous affair is that the fix is so simple! There are no complicated mechanisms to consider, just shift the effective date of the LB as demonstrated above, and there is no need to put forward the clearly fallacious argument that there are grounds for violating the constitution. Such grounds simply do not exist!
I, therefore, summon the relevant authorities within seven days after receipt of this letter revoke the offending, LB and issue an LB which does not violate the constitution of Country Sint Maarten. Failure to comply it this request might result in legal measures being taken. Please avoid the shame and embarrassment
a court hearing will bring to Country Sint Maarten and revoke this LB.