~ New coalition soon to be formed, Sources ~
PHILIPSBURG: --- The Dutch Government has once again managed to blackmail the Government and people of St. Maarten when they decided on Friday to freeze the financial support that was promised to the country during the coronavirus pandemic. Basically, with this move, the Dutch Government through the Kingdom Council of Ministers managed to split the governing coalition in the parliament of St. Maarten since the United Peoples Party members are the ones behind the petition sent to the United Nations. While the petition was sent on behalf of the Parliament of St. Maarten it is clear the process is spearheaded by UPP Faction leader MP Grisha Heyliger Marten and the Chairman of Parliament Rolando Brison.
State Secretary Raymond Knops in his letter on Friday informed the 2nd chamber that the Dutch Kingdom Council of Ministers has decided to stop the liquidity support until the parliament of St. Maarten unequivocally confirm that they support the agreement previously concluded by the Jacobs cabinet, meaning the promised the 39 million guilders needed for the second quarter will not be available. Clearly, the State Secretary continues with his heavy-handedness even though the State Council of Advice shot down the COHO in its current form.
People that are left hungry will certainly not support the politicians they elected to parliament who are busy trying to emancipate them by asking the United Nations to conduct an investigation into the decolonization process that was never finalized. While the petition is laced with heavy accusations against the Dutch Government, the main issue addressed in the petition is to have the decolonization process finalized so St. Maarten and the other islands such as Aruba and Curacao will be able to have a full measure of self-government. Certainly, several local politicians that are sitting on the opposition benches mislead the population by saying the coalition is seeking independence. The decolonization process that was never finalized by the Dutch Government was first addressed in 2015 by former Prime Minister of St. Maarten Marcel Gumbs and the Prime Ministers of Curacao and Aruba.
The move made on Friday is not the first made by State Secretary Raymond Knops. On October 20th, 2020, St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion was forced to suspend the bond he had intended to float after the government of St. Maarten was blackmailed. Ardwell said back then that Sint Maarten was in discussions with the Netherlands regarding the refinancing of a loan, which was scheduled to mature on October 21st, 2020. Sint Maarten opted to accept the proposal of the Netherlands as outlined in their letter of October 16th, 2020, which will result in the postponement of the maturity date and avoid a technical default.
Knops clearly made mention of the petition filed by Cholaris Law Group to the United Nations special rapporteur and the Working Group of Experts of African descent as his main contention with St. Maarten.
The State Secretary argued that the petition targets the persistent acts of racial discrimination and violation of human rights by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. While harsh words may have been used in the petition one now has to question if the Dutch Government is innocent of the allegations made in the petition then why are they pressuring St. Maarten to either pull back the petition through their divide and conquer tactics. Some persons that have been dealing with the decolonization process said the Dutch Government did the very same thing to St. Eustatius when they working on their full measure of self-government in 2017/2018. Back then the Dutch formulated a coup d’etat by kicking Clyde van Putten out of the office and installed their own government.
Sources say the move made by the Dutch Government on Friday, forced some factions in parliament to begin negotiations to form a new coalition that will leave the United Peoples Party in the cold. It is speculated that the new coalition government will be formed with the National Alliance (5) seats, United St. Maarten Party (USP) 2 sets, and the Party for Progress (PFP) 2 seats, giving a 9 seat majority in the parliament of St. Maarten. SMN News learned that it is expected that the new coalition government will be established by next week and their first order of the day will be to withdraw the petition sent to the UN rapporteur and the Working Group of Experts of African descents.
While St. Maarten was blackmailed through the pulling of the financial aid, Aruba was awarded 237 million guilders.