Allegations of deregistering citizens to influence elections inaccurate, says PM | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–Statements made in Parliament alleging that government is purposefully deregistering persons in order to influence the elections are libellous and dismaying, Prime Minister (PM) Silveria Jacobs said on Wednesday.

The statement in question was made by independent Member of Parliament (MP) Ludmila de Weever, who said during the closing of the 2022-2023 parliamentary year on Monday that persons are being deregistered in an effort to prevent them from exercising their right to vote. De Weever said at the time that while government should be focused on solving issues and running the country, it is putting efforts into deregistering citizens from the voters list “simply to prevent people from voting.”

Jacobs took offence at the statement and responded during the live Council of Ministers press briefing.

“Another statement made on the floor of Parliament that was quite dismaying was that this government is purposefully deregistering persons in order to influence the elections. That is for sure very libellous, because the Ministry of General Affairs under which the Civil Registry Department falls, follows the laws,” stated the prime minister.

Jacobs said she has been advising persons, on a weekly basis during the press briefing, to ensure that their registrations are up to date.

“By law, if you have moved from your current address you must within a particular time go to the Civil Registry Department and update your records. So, once again I’d like to invite all eligible voters, but all people of St. Maarten in general, to ensure that your registrations are up to date,” she said.

She alluded to the special opening of the Department of Civil Registry over the next two Saturdays, where voters are able to update their records to ensure that their voting cards are delivered to their correct address (see related story). Voters can also visit the department during its regular working hours to update their records.

“These discussions were already ongoing to ensure that eligible voters are updated within the Civil Registry. Why? This is in order to ensure that they receive their voting cards at their physical address. Too many voting cards have been returned in the past years when elections were held and in an effort to clean up our registry, which is to ensure that we have a correct count of our citizens as well as ensuring that every voting citizen is properly registered and can receive their cards, that is the process that is taking place at the Civil Registry Department and I would really like to thank them for the extra hours that they put into to do so,” Jacobs clarified.

  She expressed hope that her statement will prompt politicians to cease “making these insane statements that this government seeks to deter anyone from being able to vote.”

Source: The Daily Herald