PHILIPSBURG–The National Alliance (NA) board will meet with its Member of Parliament-elect (MP-elect) Christophe Emmanuel today, Wednesday, on the five-point charter documents he wants his coalition partners to sign before he affixes his signature to the coalition agreement signed on Saturday evening.
NA board President Lenny Priest confirmed to The Daily Herald that the meeting will be held today at the request of the NA board. Priest said the meeting is intended to discuss the document that Emmanuel announced publicly on SOS Radio on Monday.
Emmanuel said on the radio programme that he would not be signing the NA/United People’s (UP) party coalition agreement if the nine coalition MPs-elect do not sign a “charter” document indicating, amongst other things, that they pledge to not break government over the four-year governing period.
He said that while the charter document is not legally binding, he considered it morally binding. He also made clear that his not signing does not mean that he will be leaving the NA or jumping ship. It is just an indication that he does not support the coalition.
However, the incoming NA/UP coalition already has plans to sign pledges against ship-jumping and the calling of elections in the preamble of its governing programme, which is, in fact, a legally binding document. UP Leader Rolando Brison had told this newspaper in an invited comment on Monday that Emmanuel’s charter document, therefore, seems “a little redundant.”
“This was already discussed in coalition discussions that within the preamble of the governing programme, which is the actual legal document that will be signed by all MPs, it will state very specifically the conditions such as not calling for elections, no ship-jumping, etc. That will be right there above our signatures already, so in my opinion it [Emmanuel’s covenant document – Ed.] may be a little redundant,” Brison had said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by NA leader Silveria Jacobs, who said Emmanuel had not brought any of these points into the discussion as pre-conditions to signing when parties were in negotiations.
She also said, “We have established a joint workgroup (NA/UP) to bring our election programmes in sync in a governing programme, the preamble of which will highlight our commitment [pledge] to work together for four years, which will be signed by all incoming MPs and Ministers. This programme will also include a parliamentary legislative agenda.”
Emmanuel had maintained that the conditions in the charter could be attached to the coalition agreement and said the pledge is a tool by which the electorate can hold signatories accountable.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.facebook.com/heraldsxm/photos/a.1251060041587810/3381256348568158/?type=3&theater