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MP Buncamper sends letter Chairlady Ad-Hoc Committee Electoral Reform.

claudiusbuncamper15032020PHILIPSBURG:--- United St. Maarten Party (USP) Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius Buncamper has sent a letter to the Chairlady of the Ad-Hoc Committee for Electoral Reform, MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten, requesting that she convenes a meeting to address the matter of Electoral Reform, starting with an evaluation of the existing proposals that aim to address the current situation with the objective to present a legislative amendment.
MP Buncamper stated in his letter to the Chairlady that during the most recently held parliamentary election all political parties that contested that election raised the issue of electoral reform with the main concern being the ease with which parliament is dissolved, resulting in early elections. The consequence of government losing the confidence of parliament has more often than not resulted in the Prime Minister dissolving parliament by invoking article 59 of the constitution of St. Maarten.
MP Buncamper expressed his concerns with, among other things, the costs associated with the outgoing members of the various cabinets in the form of severance pay and other benefits, and the interruption of continuity in government.
In his letter the MP indicated that the lawmakers at the time of passing the electoral legislation and establishment of policies surely did not take into consideration a situation in which instability in government would be as frequent as it has proven to be in St. Maarten during the last ten years.
“Our country needs stability and the ability to operate in an environment which is conducive to creating such stability,” the MP said. “Parliament, therefore, has the responsibility to pass the necessary legislation to create that environment.”
Lastly, the MP said that he would like the committee to address the severance pay and benefits currently enjoyed by the outgoing ministers and parliamentarians after the dissolution of parliament, in the context of the budgetary burden on the country’s treasury as well as the influence this may have on the Prime Minister’s decision to dissolve parliament.

 

Chairlady of the Ad-Hoc Committee for Electoral Reform

Mrs. Grisha Heyliger-Marten

Parliament Building

      Soualiga Boulevard #1

St. Maarten

Ref: Meeting Electoral reform

                                                                                                      Philipsburg March 12th, 2020

Mrs. Heyliger-Marten,

During the most recently held parliamentary election, all political parties contesting the election raised the issue of electoral reform, of which the ease with which parliament is dissolved resulting in early elections was and remains the main concern.

The consequence of the Government losing the confidence of Parliament has more often than not resulted in the Prime Minister of St. Maarten dissolving Parliament. The subsequent actions which are triggered as a result of this dissolution is not only costly due to lack of continuity in government, but also brings with it a cost associated with the outgoing cabinets in the form of severance pay and benefits.

Surely the lawmakers at the time of passing the electoral legislation and establishment of policies did not consider a situation in which instability in government would be as frequent as it has proven to be during the last 10 years.

Our country needs stability and the ability to operate in an environment that is conducive to creating that stability. Parliament, therefore, has a responsibility to create the necessary legislation to create that environment.

To that end, I hereby request you to convene a meeting to address electoral reform, starting with an evaluation of the existing proposals that aim to address the above-described situation, with the objective to present a legislative amendment.

Secondly, I would like the committee to address the severance pay and benefits currently enjoyed by outgoing ministers and parliamentarians, after dissolution of parliament, in the context of the budgetary burden on the country’s treasury as well as the influence this may have on the decision of a prime minister to dissolve Parliament.

Awaiting a positive response most soonest I remain,

King regards,

_______________________

      Claudius A. Buncamper BSc.

      Member of Parliament

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